CORONAVIRUS NAVAJO NATION

Navajo Nation Reports Near-Record Number Of New COVID-19 Cases

Nov 17, 2020, 3:47 PM | Updated: 3:48 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 Department of Health reported the highest number of new COVID-19 cases since May, when the area was considered the hardest-hit region in the country.

There were 197 new cases reported Monday, which is the second-highest one-day total of cases on the reservation. On May 13, the Navajo Nation reported 238 cases.

(Navajo Nation Department of Health)

In fact, the current seven day average of 122.9 cases is approaching the record-high seven-day average of cases (132.7), which was recorded on May 19.

Another person died from the disease Monday and a total of 603 people have died since the pandemic started.

“All of the data indicates that it is going to get worse before it gets better, but each one of us has the ability to help change that trend. We have to use what we learned during the first wave of COVID-19 that devastated our Nation in April and May,” said Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez. “We cannot keep making the same mistakes by traveling off the Navajo Nation and bringing the virus home. We can’t keep having family and social gatherings and expect everything to be OK. We have a three-week lockdown in place now to help isolate those individuals who are positive for COVID-19.”

A stay-at-home order that lasts for three weeks was put into place Monday to stop the new surge in cases. The order closes all business except for gas stations, grocery stores, laundromats and restaurants. They will remain open from 7 a.m. until 3 p.m. All schools were also ordered to switch to remote learning.

Part of the Navajo Nation is in Utah’s San Juan County which is in the Four Corners area shared with Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona.

The Navajo Nation made worldwide headlines when it had the highest number of infections per capita during mid-May. Leaders substantially flattened the so-called curb with a series of strict stay-at-home and lockdown orders.

Cases started to increase again by the end of September.

“When we isolate people, we isolate the virus. We have to do better and we cannot give up. Stay home as much as possible, do not attend or hold family gatherings, practice social distancing, wash your hands often, and wear a mask in public,” said Nez.

Visit the Office of the President and Vice President for the latest news of coronavirus on the Navajo Nation.


Coronavirus Resources

How Do I Prevent It?

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
  • Avoid touching your face
  • 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.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
The CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies), especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.
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Navajo Nation Reports Near-Record Number Of New COVID-19 Cases