Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

May 14, 2020

Surge in Navajo cases and deaths from coronavirus, 16 deaths in 24 hours

Navajo President's Office relief efforts. Photo Navajo President's Office

Navajo Nation: 147 new cases of COVID-19 and 16 more deaths reported, President Nez meets with health care workers and federal officials

By Brenda Norrell
Censored News
May 13, 2020

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. – The Navajo Nation reported a dramatic increase in cases and deaths from the coronavirus on Wednesday, with 16 more deaths, and 147 new cases in 24 hours. The total number of positive COVID-19 cases for the Navajo Nation has reached 3,392. There have been 119 deaths.

Navajo President Jonathan Nez said there will be a 57-hour weekend lockdown that will have slightly stricter measures than previous curfews. The order is being finalized and will be issued on Thursday.

The Navajo President's Office urged the use of temporary facilities constructed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in community centers and gyms, for quarantine sites to control the spread of the virus. The President said each person has a responsibility to document everyone they have been in contact with if they test positive, so contacts can be traced.

In Arizona, most coronavirus cases are in Phoenix, Maricopa County. The age group in Arizona that most often gets the virus is young adults: 20 to 44 years old. The ethnic group that most often gets the virus in Arizona is white, according to Arizona state data. The largest number of deaths are in nursing homes.

New Mexico is beginning a new mask law, but is also allowing limited occupancy re-opening of retail stores.

President Nez released the following statement late Wednesday:

During a visit to Alternative Care Sites in Chinle and Shiprock on Wednesday, President Nez told federal officials and health care experts that he wants to see increased use of the facilities constructed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to house positive COVID-19 patients so they can isolate themselves and prevent further spread of the virus.

“We should be using these facilities to their full potential. By that, I mean we need to isolate those who test positive in these facilities, so they don’t take the virus home to their loved ones and spread it even more. Contact tracing is another critical factor for those who test positive. If you test positive, you have a responsibility to document everyone that you’ve come into contact with so they can be contacted and traced,” said President Nez.

President Nez was joined by officials with the U.S. Public Health Service and FEMA’s Emergency Support Function, as they met with health care workers and management from the Tuba City Regional Health Care Center. President Nez thanked all of the health care workers for their dedication and long hours of hard work on a daily basis to help COVID-19 patients. He also listened to their concerns and offered assistance through the Nez-Lizer Administration.

“With some states starting to reopen, it’s giving people the impression that it’s okay to go out into public, but it’s not safe yet. With today’s numbers, it’s clear that everyone needs to step up and hold each other accountable to stay home. Our law enforcement officers are stretched thin and we don’t have the manpower to enforce the shelter-in-place order and the daily and weekend curfews around the clock. It’s very disheartening to see more and more traffic on our roads and more people going into border towns, but we’re not giving up. We’re going to look at what else we need to do to bring the numbers down,” said President Nez.

On Tuesday, the Navajo Nation extended its declaration of a state of emergency and the closure of Navajo Nation government offices until June 7, to minimize the spread of COVID-19.

“We cannot let our guard down. Our police officers are working around the clock and it’s unfortunate that they are spending much of their time issuing citations to curfew violators, so it’s really incumbent upon every citizen, every family, to keep their family members home. No one should be going to a grocery for one or two items. Stay home, stay safe, and save lives and please continue to pray,” said Vice President Lizer.

The Nez-Lizer Administration will host another online town hall on Thursday beginning at 10:00 a.m. (MDT) on the Nez-Lizer Facebook page.

The 3,392 confirmed positive cases on the Navajo Nation include the following counties:

· McKinley County, NM: 912
· Apache County, AZ: 889
· Navajo County, AZ: 697
· Coconino County, AZ: 335
· San Juan County, NM: 410
· San Juan County, UT: 57
· Socorro County, NM: 26
· Cibola County, NM: 37
· Bernalillo County: 3
· Sandoval County, NM: 26

1 comment:

All my relations said...

Please stay safe for each other, for all the family.