|Bitahnii Wilson, Dineh volunteer, delivers water and firewood to those
in need, sick, and elderly, and to nearby Hopi neighbors.
Photo courtesy Bitahnii Wilson.
COVID's rapid spread continues across Indian country, with seven deaths in Navajo Nation
Sept. 5, 2022
The coronavirus continues to spread at a high rate in much of Indian Country, according to the CDC. The rapid spread continues in about half of Montana and Oklahoma, in Apache County, where Window Rock, Arizona, the capital of the Navajo Nation, and nearby McKinley Country, where the border town of Gallup, N.M., is located.
The high rate of spread continues in the area of Pine Ridge in South Dakota. The widest area of spread is throughout the entire southeastern United States.
The Navajo Nation said seven Dineh died this past week from COVID-19. On Friday, there were 141 new cases. The Navajo Nation said that 51 Navajo communities have an uncontrolled spread of the virus. At the same time, the first case of monkeypox was reported by the Navajo Nation in McKinley County, New Mexico.
The Navajo Nation has one of the highest vaccination rates for COVID in the United States. Indian Health Service has administered more than 400,000 vaccines in the Navajo service area. With even more vaccines administered, IHS said it has administered more 720,000 vaccines in the Oklahoma service area, which includes Kansas and north Texas.
Nationwide, Indian Health Service reports the fastest spread in the Bemidji, Minnesota IHS service region, which includes Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois and Indiana. The high rate of spread continues in the Great Plains, including on the Oglala Lakota Nation in Pine Ridge, South Dakota. The Great Plains region includes the Dakotas, Nebraska and Iowa.
About the author