CORONAVIRUS NAVAJO NATION

First Case Of California Variant Confirmed On Navajo Nation

Apr 6, 2021, 3:57 PM | Updated: 5:39 pm
File photo (KSL TV)...
File photo (KSL TV)
(KSL TV)

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. – The first case of the California variant of COVID-19 has been found on the Navajo Nation, according to officials.

A news release Tuesday said the variant was discovered on a test sample that was collected in the Chinle Service Unit area.

The Centers for Disease Control has classified the California variant (B.1.429) as a Variant of Concern and described it as, “a variant for which there is evidence of an increase in transmissibility, more severe disease (increased hospitalizations or deaths), significant reduction in neutralization by antibodies generated during previous infection or vaccination, reduced effectiveness of treatments or vaccines, or diagnostic detection failures.”

This was the second COVID-19 variant identified on the reservation. On March 30, the U.K. variant was found in a sample in the western portion of the Navajo Nation, the release said.

“Everyone should be informed about the two variants that have been identified here on the Navajo Nation. There is still much to be learned about the B.1.429 variant, commonly known as the California variant,” Navajo President Nez said. “At this point, the California variant has been detected in all of the states that surround the Navajo Nation. The Navajo” Department of Health continues to work with states and other partners to conduct surveillance to help identify if there are more variant cases.”

According to the Navajo Department of Health, the person who tested positive for the B.1.429 variant has recovered.

The Navajo Nation is in the Four Corners area, which includes Utah’s San Juan County.

Coronavirus Resources

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Click here to sign up for a vaccine and here to see how Utah’s vaccine rollout is progressing.

The latest COVID-19 stories from KSL can be found here.

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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First Case Of California Variant Confirmed On Navajo Nation