Officials Report ‘Uncontrolled Spread’ Of COVID-19 In Parts Of Navajo Nation

Nov 12, 2020, 8:26 PM
FILE: An American flag with an image of Native American on it is attached to a fence outside a home...
FILE: An American flag with an image of Native American on it is attached to a fence outside a home in the East To'Hajiilee housing community in To'Hajiilee Indian Reservation (Photo by Sam Wasson/Getty Images)
(Photo by Sam Wasson/Getty Images)

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. – Officials with the Navajo Nation said they have been alarmed by the increase in coronavirus cases and warned of “uncontrolled spread” in 34 communities.

The Navajo health department reported 98 new cases on Wednesday and the death of 1 person. A total of 596 people have died from COVID-19.

A news release said the uncontrolled spread was mostly because of residents who travel to family gatherings and off the Navajo Nation.

Utah reported a record 3,919 new cases Thursday, with another 9 people dead. New Mexico officials reported a new high of 1,500 cases Wednesday, and 2,030 new cases were reported in Arizona.

The Navajo Nation is in the Four Corners area in parts of Utah, New Mexico, and Arizona.

“In some regions of the country, they are seeing exponential growth on a daily basis. The Navajo Department of Health identified 34 communities, nearly one-third of all chapters on the Navajo Nation, with uncontrolled spread of COVID-19. We have to do better and we have to hold ourselves and our loved ones accountable,” said Navajo President Jonathan Nez. “Please do not travel and do not hold family or social gatherings.”

Vice President Myron Lizer said, “The safest place to be is at home here on the Navajo Nation. Cases of COVID-19 are rising in areas near the Navajo Nation. I commend the businesses on the Navajo Nation for adhering to protocols and doing their best to keep customers and employees safe. As we move forward, please keep our people, our leaders, and our first responders in your prayers.”

Another 56-hour lockdown will take effect starting Friday at 9 p.m. and end Monday at 5 a.m.

Here are the Navajo communities identified as areas with the uncontrolled spread of COVID-19:




Bread Springs*






Indian Wells


Lake Valley*


Mariano Lake*






Rock Point*

Rock Springs*

Round Rock



Smith Lake*




Tolani Lake




Tuba City*

White Horse Lake*

* Chapters added in the new 14-day period

For more information on the spread of COVID-19 on the Navajo Nation, visit the Navajo Department of Health’s COVID-19 website:

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The CDC has some simple recommendations, most of which are the same for preventing other respiratory illnesses or the flu:

  • Avoid close contact with people who may be sick
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  • Stay home when you are sick
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and then throw the tissue in the trash
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. Always wash your hands with soap and water if your hands are visibly dirty.
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The CDC does not recommend wearing a facemask respirator to protect yourself from coronavirus unless a healthcare professional recommends it.

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Officials Report ‘Uncontrolled Spread’ Of COVID-19 In Parts Of Navajo Nation