Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights 2020

Sunday, April 5, 2020

Navajo Nation coronavirus cases increase to 321, with 13 deaths, curfew in effect with fines


Arizona Air National Guard delivering some supplies on Navajo Nation, shortages continue


321 total positive cases of COVID-19 for the Navajo Nation, one more death confirmed
Censored News

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. — The total number of positive tests for COVID-19 has reached 321 for the Navajo Nation as of Saturday – an increase of 51 cases since Friday, according to the Navajo Department of Health and Navajo Area Indian Health Service, in coordination with the Navajo Epidemiology Center. There is now a total of 13 confirmed deaths related to COVID-19. There was 1,796 negative results as of Thursday.

The 321 confirmed positive cases include the following counties:

Navajo County, AZ: 137
Apache County, AZ: 31
Coconino County, AZ: 90
McKinley County, NM: 17
San Juan County, NM: 30
Cibola County, NM: 7
San Juan County, UT: 7
Socorro County, NM: 2

On Saturday, the Navajo Police Department began issuing citations and fines for individuals who violate the Navajo Nation’s “Stay at Home Order” and daily curfew that requires all residents to be home between 8:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m.

“This is a matter of life and death, especially for those who have underlying health issues. Before you consider going out for any reason, think of the well-being of your elders and your children. Be mindful that the numbers we are seeing are two to three days old due to the delay in test results for COVID-19. We are demanding that rapid testing be offered immediately and that testing laboratories be established in our communities,” said Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez.

During a live online town hall on Friday, President Nez urged the general public to use protective masks, including homemade masks, and protective gloves in public to help prevent the spread of the virus. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also issued similar recommendations.

“Education is key to preventing this virus. Social distancing means that everyone should stay at least six-feet apart from one another as much as possible, especially in public. We should not be traveling anywhere unless we absolutely have to. If groceries or essential items need to be purchased, please send out only one family member. We are still receiving reports of families shopping together and even babies and small children – that is unacceptable,” stated Vice President Myron Lizer.

The Navajo Nation’s daily curfew remains in effect from 8:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. The curfew does not apply to essential employees reporting to or from duty, with official identification and/or a letter of designation from their essential business employer on official letterhead which includes a contact for verification.

President Nez and Vice President Lizer will hold another online town hall COVID-19 update on Sunday at 2:00 p.m. (MDT) via Facebook. Radio forums are also scheduled for Tuesdays and Thursdays at 6:00 p.m. on KTNN 660AM and 101.5FM.

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.

Arizona Army National Guard delivers supplies to help fight COVID-19

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. — On Saturday, Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez, Vice President Myron Lizer, and the Navajo Health Command Operations Center met with the Arizona Army National Guard State Surgeon Col. Tom Leeper, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, FEMA Region 9 officials, Team Rubicon, and the Chinle Comprehensive Healthcare Facility Incident Command team, to receive Personal Protective Equipment in Chinle, Ariz., where the items will be sorted and delivered to surrounding medical facilities for health care workers to use in the fight against the spread of COVID-19. The items were donated from various businesses in the Phoenix area.

“We don't have the best health care on the Navajo Nation, but we are stepping up to get as much equipment as possible to help those on the frontlines. As the first people of this country, we should not be the last to get equipment. We thank all of the businesses who contributed to help our health care workers," President Nez said. "We just have to constantly remind our federal and state partners that we are still here! We are resilient just like our ancestors and we will continue to prosper long after this pandemic is over.”

The leaders also met with the Chinle Comprehensive Healthcare Facility Incident Command team, to discuss strategies to mitigate the surge in new COVID-19 cases and to increase staffing for the federal medical station.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will complete a rapid risk assessment on potential sites in the coming days in Chinle and Kayenta, then provide recommendations on which facility best meet the needs and standards, according to the healthcare guidelines and health experts. The establishment of these medical stations will likely shelter patients who test positive for COVID-19, who show less severe symptoms, to isolate the virus and prevent it from spreading.

“We haven’t nearly reached the peak of the virus — that’s what our health care experts are telling us. So, we need to be proactive and do everything we can to prepare for the worse, but pray and hope for the best. We thank everyone who is working around the clock and behind the scenes to help our Navajo people,” stated Vice President Lizer.

More supplies will continue to be delivered by the National Guard, as first responders continue to fight COVID-19 on the frontlines. The Nez-Lizer team will continue to pray for everyone, including our health care providers and first responders, who are doing their best to provide resources and services to our Navajo citizens.

A Public Health Emergency “Stay at Home Order” remains in effect requiring all residents of the Navajo Nation to stay home and isolate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, except for essential work and activities.

The Navajo Nation’s daily curfew also remains in effect from 8:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. The curfew does not apply to essential employees reporting to or from duty, with official identification and/or a letter of designation from their essential business employer on official letterhead which includes a contact for verification.

President Nez and Vice President Lizer will hold another online town hall COVID-19 update on Sunday at 2:00 p.m. (MDT) via Facebook. Radio forums are also scheduled for Tuesdays and Thursdays at 6:00 p.m. on KTNN 660AM and 101.5FM.


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.

USE CLOTH FACE COVERINGS TO HELP SLOW THE SPREAD OF COVID-19

On behalf of the Office of the President and Vice President, we encourage our Diné Citizens to begin wearing cloth face masks when they leave their homes when going into public for essential items and for essential work duties. The Center for Disease Control recommends wearing cloth face masks in public, especially in areas with no social distancing.

The cloth face masks can slow the spread of the virus and help individuals who may have the virus from giving it to others. Masks should not be placed on children younger than two years old.
Nationally, there is a shortage of N-95 masks; however, we can take it upon ourselves by making and donating cloth face masks to protect ourselves, our families, and communities.

Cloth Face Coverings Should:
• Fit well and comfortable against the side of the face
• Secured with ties or ear loops
• Include multiple layers of fabric
• Allow for breathing without restriction
• Be able to be laundered after use and dried without damage or change to the shape
• Remember not to touch your eyes, nose, and mouth
• Wash hands immediately after mask removal

Below are recommendations from the CDC on how to make a cloth face masks: Sewn Cloth Face Covering, Quick Cut-T-Shirt Cloth Face Covering (no-sew method), and Bandana Cloth Face Covering (no-sew method).

If you wish to donate quality cloth face masks, contact the Office of the President and Vice President at (928) 871-7000. The Office will take the necessary steps to sanitize the cloth masks before distribution to elders and vulnerable individuals with heart disease, lung disease, diabetes, or cancer.

Please take time to read the materials. Stay Home, Stay Safe, Save Lives! Ahe’hee’

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More from Censored News

The New York Times coronavirus cases map still doesn't show the large outbreak on the Navajo Nation at the Arizona and Utah border. April 5, 2020. At least two Dine' have died from Navajo Mountain.The initial cases followed a church rally of the Nazarene Church at Chilchinbeto. A second church meeting in Pine Hill, NM, exposed more and the pastor's family was hospitalized. A doctor at Winslow Indian Hospital, south of the Navajo and Hopi Nations, said three people died before reaching the hospital.



In the IHS service units, the Navajo Nation and Albuquerque showed the greatest increase in coronavirus cases this week. The statistics posted April 4, however, are not up to date but give a general idea of spread. There are now 321 cases on the Navajo Nation and 13 deaths. The IHS statistics show that about one-third of Native people tested do not yet have test results. --  Censored News.
Below: Indian Health Service, April 4, 2020

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