Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights 2020

Friday, April 24, 2020

Navajo coronavirus cases increase to 1,360 with 52 deaths



Photo: Supplies distributed to Jeddito, one of 110 chapters on the Navajo Nation,
located in the states of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah.



78 new cases and three more deaths related to COVID-19 reported

By Navajo President's Office
Censored News

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. — The Navajo Department of Health in coordination with the Navajo Epidemiology Center and the Navajo Area Indian Health Service, reported 78 new cases of COVID-19 and a total of 52 deaths for the Navajo Nation as of Thursday. The total number of positive COVID-19 cases for the Navajo Nation has reached 1,360, which includes 642 men and 718 women with an average age of 48-years-old. There is a total of 6,473 negative test results.

The 1,360 confirmed positive cases on the Navajo Nation include the following counties: Navajo County, AZ: 350; Apache County, AZ: 287; Coconino County, AZ: 229; McKinley County, NM: 296; San Juan County, NM: 135; Cibola County, NM: 14; San Juan County, UT: 19; Socorro County, NM: 17; Sandoval County, NM: 13.

Nez-Lizer lead food and care package distribution to rural community members

On Thursday, Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer led a massive distribution of care packages, food supplies, and fire wood to approximately 250 members of the Navajo Nation who reside in the remote area Jeddito, Ariz., to help families and high-risk residents with essential items during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
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“The Navajo Nation is stepping up to help our own people by providing some assistance with essential items. We’re not waiting on the federal government or anyone else, we’re doing this because we love our people and we are here for them. Thank you to the many staff members and contributors who stepped up to help our Navajo people,” said President Nez.

Hundreds of vehicles lined up at Jeddito Community School, where Navajo Nation personnel loaded vehicles with hygiene products, fire wood, diapers, bottled water, and food products such as beans, flour, and, potatoes. Community Health Representatives also transported and delivered the packaged items to high-risk residents at their homes.

“We know there are a lot of high-risk and elders who need some assistance and we’re doing our best to help them. The Navajo Nation is stepping up to help our own people and we are very grateful for everyone’s generosity and volunteerism. We hope to be able to coordinate more distribution drives in other communities. Working together, we are doing great things,” said Vice President Lizer.

All personnel were required to wear protective masks, gloves, safety vests, and to maintain a safe distance from community members. Residents were required to remain in their vehicles with their windows rolled up, while personnel safely placed the food supplies and care packages in the back of vehicles, with no direct contact with anyone.

The Nez-Lizer Administration thanks everyone who assisted with the distribution including the Jeddito Chapter, Jeddito Community School, Navajo Nation’s CHR Program, Navajo Health Command Operations Center, Navajo Nation Division of Transportation, Navajo County, World Vision, Navajo Agricultural Products Industry, Winslow Indian Health Care Center, Cedar Unified School District, Pax Harvey, and others.

The Navajo Epidemiology Center has validated a daily decrease of COVID-19 cases, however the Nation has not reached its peak of overall positive cases. There are currently seven Navajo Nation Public Health Emergency Orders to reduce the spread of COVID-19, which is a contributing factor for the daily decrease of cases. The orders include a Nation-wide shelter-in-place, limiting large gatherings, a daily curfew from 8:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m., a 57-hour weekend curfew during the month of April, and mandating all individuals on the Navajo Nation to wear face masks.

On Thursday, Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez and Vice President Lizer led a massive distribution of care packages, food supplies, and fire wood to approximately 250 members of the Navajo Nation who reside in the remote area of Jeddito, Ariz., to help families, elderly people, and high-risk residents with essential items during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“The proactive measures that we’ve put in place are working to slow down the virus, so let’s keep it up. During this pandemic, we need to remember that we are all related in one way or another and we should help one another and that includes holding each other accountable. We have a Nation-wide shelter-in-place order, but we can’t be everywhere to ensure compliance by the people. If you have a family member or relative who isn’t staying home, unless it’s to purchase essential items, then please tell them to comply. We are doing our very best to save lives and stop the spread of the virus,” said President Nez, adding that Jeddito was selected based on need-assessments and advisement from Community Health Representatives and health care experts.

On Friday, the Navajo Nation’s 57-hour weekend curfew is set to begin at 8:00 p.m. and last until Monday at 5:00 a.m. This is the third weekend-long curfew that the Navajo Department of Health has implemented to keep people home to help slow the spread of COVID-19. The only exceptions are for essential workers and in cases of emergency.

“We are seeing good signs that the virus is beginning to slow, but we need to keep our guard up and continue staying home as much as possible. Last weekend, we have over 100 citations issued for curfew violators. Let’s strive to improve this number by complying with the curfew and holding our family and friends accountable. President Nez and I are praying for all of our people each day, especially for those who have contracted the virus and for the families who have lost loved ones. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all,” Vice President Lizer stated.

President Nez and Vice President Lizer extend their appreciation to the majority of Navajo citizens who are complying with the Navajo Nation orders. Most importantly, the Administration thanks the doctors, nurses, first responders, and public safety officers, who serve on the front lines.

For more information including reports, helpful prevention tips, and more resources, please visit the Navajo Department of Health’s COVID-19 website at http://www.ndoh.navajo-nsn.gov/COVID-19. To contact the main Navajo Health Command Operations Center, please call (928) 871-7014.

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