August 2020

Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Navajo Nation coronavirus cases increase to 426, with 17 deaths, with curfew

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Photo: Navajo President with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Arizona National Guard assessing possible sites for a Federal Medical Station. Photo Western Navajo Fairgrounds by Navajo President's Office.

Also see: San Felipe Pueblo has 52 cases of coronavirus and Zia Pueblo has 31 cases. McKinley County, which includes Zuni Pueblo, Gallup and parts of the Navajo Nation, has 55 cases. Read more.
Pine Ridge in South Dakota on 72 hour lockdown after first case of coronavirus, teacher in Porcupine. Read more.



42 new positive cases of COVID-19 reported for the Navajo Nation, two additional deaths

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

WINDOW ROCK – The total number of positive tests for COVID-19 has reached 426 for the Navajo Nation as of Tuesday – an increase of 42 positive cases since Monday, 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 17 confirmed deaths related to COVID-19.

The 426 confirmed positive cases include the following counties: Navajo County, AZ: 164; Apache County, AZ: 44; Coconino County, AZ: 102; McKinley County, NM: 32; San Juan County, NM: 66; Cibola County, NM: 8; San Juan County, UT: 7; Socorro County, NM: 2; Bernalillo County, NM: 1

"The Navajo Nation can implement and enforce curfews and restrictions, but ultimately it’s up to you. We must practice T’áá hwó’ ajít’éego, self-determination, our Diné people must know that they also have the power to prevent the spread of COVID-19. We have the power to save lives, especially those that have compromised immune systems. We must work together to protect our people, our way of life and who we are as Diné,” said Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez.

On Tuesday, President Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer teamed up with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Arizona National Guard to assess several possible sites for Federal Medical Station in the communities of Kayenta and Tuba City, to help patient overflow from local health care facilities due to the spread of COVID-19. A report from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is expected in the next few days.

Other communities are also being considered for Federal Medical Station sites including Shiprock, Crownpoint, Fort Defiance, and others. They also continue to hold regular phones calls with federal agencies, state partners, and members of Congress to facilitate the distribution of more resources and funds.

“The numbers are very alarming, but we must also remember that many people who test positive eventually recover from the virus — that’s the good news. We need to ramp up efforts to keep our people home and safe as much as possible. This weekend’s 57-hour curfew is the next step in keeping our communities safe,” said Vice President Lizer.

President Nez continues to urge the general public to use protective masks, including homemade masks, and protective gloves if they are required to work or when going to stores for essential items such as food and medicine.

The Navajo Nation’s daily curfew continues to be enforced by the Navajo Police. Checkpoints are setup regularly and citations and fines up to $1,000 may be issued for those who violate the curfew order that requires residents to remain home between 8:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m. each day. This weekend’s 57-hour curfew will begin on Friday at 8:00 p.m. until Monday at 5:00 a.m.

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.

FEDERAL MEDICAL STATIONS 04.07.20

Today, President Jonathan Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer teamed up with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Arizona National Guard to assess several possible sites for Federal Medical Station (FMS) in the communities of Kayenta and Tuba City, to help patient overflow from local health care facilities due to the spread of COVID-19.

A report from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is expected in the next few days. Other communities are also being considered for Federal Medical Station sites including Shiprock, Crownpoint, Fort Defiance, and others. President Nez and Vice President Lizer continue to hold regular phones calls with federal agencies, state partners, and members of Congress to facilitate the distribution of more resources and funds.

Please continue to stay home and stay safe as much as possible, and continue to pray for our health care workers, first responders, our elderly people, and all of our communities. We will be this virus together! Stay home, stay safe, save lives!
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Read more in the news:
Fred Willie, Dine', referring to the gathering of Nazarene Church in Chilchinbeto near Kayenta, Arizona, on the Navajo Nation, the location of the first coronavirus cases: “Everybody heard about this great preacher, so they came from all over,” said Willie. “And that minister was out there sweating and coughing on everybody, laying on hands. That was the beginning of the downfall.”