Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

April 9, 2020

Navajo Nation: Rapid increase in coronavirus, now 488 cases and 20 deaths

Navajo Police checkpoint, Navajo Nation, Pueblo Pintado, New Mexico.

By Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer
Censored News

62 new positive cases of COVID-19, three more deaths reported

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. — The total number of positive tests for COVID-19 has reached 488 for the Navajo Nation as of Wednesday – an increase of 62 positive cases since Tuesday, according to the Navajo Department of Health and Navajo Area Indian Health Service, in coordination with the Navajo Epidemiology Center. The report also includes 2,221 total negative test results as of Wednesday. There is now a total of 20 confirmed deaths related to COVID-19.

The 488 confirmed positive cases include the following counties:

· Navajo County, AZ: 186
· Apache County, AZ: 50
· Coconino County, AZ: 116
· McKinley County, NM: 45
· San Juan County, NM: 70
· Cibola County, NM: 9
· San Juan County, UT: 10
· Socorro County, NM: 2

"Per capita, our numbers are very alarming. The only way we’re going to beat COVID-19 is by practicing T’áá hwó’ ajít’éego, self-determination. The teachings of our Navajo elders still help and guide us to this day. Each and every one of us has to take it upon ourselves to self-isolate – when we isolate ourselves, we isolate the virus. With the 57-hour weekend curfew coming up, we are hopeful that we’ll begin to see a steady decrease in the number of positive cases, but it will only work if we make it work by staying home as much as possible,” said Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez.

The Nation’s latest Public Health Order implementing a 57-hour curfew will take effect on Friday at 8:00 p.m. until Monday at 5:00 a.m., except for essential employees who are required to have documentation from their employer. Navajo Police will strictly enforce the curfew order by issuing citations that may include a fine up to $1,000 and/or 30 days in jail.

“Now is the time to get prepared for the 57-hour curfew. If you need groceries, medication, or other necessary items we urge you to take every precaution and please only send one family member to purchase items – do not take children into stores or public places. Let’s also continue to pray for everyone who is fighting along with us,” said Vice President Lizer.

On Thursday at 10:00 a.m. (MDT), the Navajo Nation and Navajo Area Indian Health Service will host another online Town Hall to provide the latest COVID-19 updates on the Nez-Lizer Facebook page, which will also be aired on KTNN 660AM and 101.5FM on Thursday at 6:00 p.m. (MDT).

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


More from Censored News
This map shows Monument Valley on the Navajo Nation, on both sides of the Arizona and Utah border. There have been at least 2 deaths, linked to the rally of the Nazarene Church nearby. It shows Tuba City where doctors are overwhelmed with patients and have begged for supplies. It shows Winslow, south of Navajo and Hopi Nations, where an IHS doctor said three people died before reaching the hospital. Many people in this region do not have running water for drinking and hand washing, two of the keys to surviving the virus. Doctors say it is important to drink lots of liquids when fighting pneumonia, and of course hand washing is essential. -- Censored News

The IHS statistics are lagging behind, but do show increases in coronavirus cases in these IHS service agencies, including Navajo, Albuquerque, Oklahoma, Great Plains and Phoenix. The Portland and California agencies were the first ones to report a number of cases. Currently, there are 488 cases on the Navajo Nation, and 20 deaths (not shown.) The Albuquerque area reflects clusters in San Felipe, Zia and Zuni Pueblos. The numbers show about one-fourth of those tested have not received results. Some areas are doing little testing. -- Censored News


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