Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

April 23, 2022

Navajo Nation -- Fifteen Dine' Deaths from COVID-19 Reported -- April 23, 2022

Dine' volunteer Bitahnii Wilson (right) hauls water to Dine' 
this week. About one-third of Dine' do not have running water.
Photo courtesy Bitahnii Wilson. K'eh Native Action

Navajo Nation reports 15 Dine' deaths from COVID. New Mexico reports virus continues to spread in bordertown nursing homes.

Brenda Norrell
Censored News

The Navajo Nation reports 15 deaths from COVID-19 and 20 new cases today. Some death reports were delayed by outside entities. The State of New Mexico reports the spread of coronavirus continues in bordertown nursing homes in Farmington, Aztec and Gallup.

The Navajo Nation reports:

On Friday, the Navajo Department of Health, in coordination with the Navajo Epidemiology Center and the Navajo Area Indian Health Service, reported 20 new COVID-19 cases for the Navajo Nation and 15 deaths, including deaths that were reported late due to delays within agencies outside of the Navajo Nation. The time period for the deaths reported is from November 2021 to April 2022. The total number of deaths is now 1,758.

The report indicates that 51,436 individuals have recovered from COVID-19. 516,751 COVID-19 tests have been administered. The overall total number of positive COVID-19 cases is now 53,304, including eight delayed reported cases.

Navajo Nation COVID-19 positive cases by Service Unit:

Chinle Service Unit: 10,235; Crownpoint Service Unit: 5,158; Ft. Defiance Service Unit: 5423; Gallup Service Unit: 8,937; Kayenta Service Unit: 5,051; Shiprock Service Unit: 9,890; Tuba City Service Unit: 5,765; Winslow Service Unit: 2,823.

COVID in Bordertown Nursing Homes

The state of New Mexico reports today that COVID outbreaks continue at nursing homes in Farmington, at Aztec Assisted Living and Cedar Ridge Inn, and at McKinley Center nursing home in Gallup. Two employees of Smiths grocery in Farmington tested positive for COVID.
The states of Arizona and New Mexico do not provide daily reports.

There were 48 deaths from COVID at Life Care Center nursing home in Farmington in 2020. Twenty-four families filed wrongful death lawsuits.

The lawsuit states:
"The basis of the respective complaints is that, despite notice of the spread of COVID-19, none of the Defendants did anything to institute an appropriate facility plan to prevent the spread, and Defendants instructed staff not to wear masks, ordered all testing swabs destroyed without being tested, failed to sterilize equipment, reused N95 masks and nursing gowns without sterilization, required staff with COVID-19 symptoms to continue to work, and later, used the same HVAC system for quarantined and non-quarantined residents."

Neither the State of New Mexico, nor the Navajo Nation, has responded to Censored News regarding how many Dine' have died in bordertown nursing homes.

New Mexico Watchlist April 23, 2022


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