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his Alternative Site in Chinle, Ariz. will house Navajo citizens who test COVID-19 positive.

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. — On Saturday, the Navajo Nation reported 81 new cases of COVID-19 for a total of 2,292 cases. There were no additional deaths reported, which keeps the death toll at 73 as reported on Friday evening.

The Navajo Department of Health in coordination with the Navajo Epidemiology Center and the Navajo Area Indian Health Service reported a total of 14,351 COVID-19 tests have been administered with 9,254 negative test results.

The Navajo Epidemiology Center reported that following further review, 15 cases were duplicated in a previous overall count. Therefore, the total of positive cases was reduced by 15, bringing the overall total of positive COVID-19 cases to 2,292.

On Saturday, Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer finalized another agreement with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, that will allow the Chinle Community Center to be used as an Alternative Care Site to isolate positive COVID-19 patients to help prevent the further spread of the virus on the Navajo Nation.

“We’re continuing to be proactive and to work with federal partners to establish these Alternative Care Sites to house positive cases. As we’ve said before, we hope we don’t have to use these facilities to their full capacity because we want to see the number of cases decrease. We pray to see our people walking out of these Alternative Care Sites having recovered and able to return to their families in good health,” Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez said.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers also stated, “We’re grateful for the partnerships and leadership exhibited by President Nez and his team, and we are honored to work shoulder to shoulder with the Navajo Nation in support of their COVID-19 response efforts. Within a month of our first meeting with Navajo Nation leadership, the Corps, working with FEMA and other partners were able to assess multiple sites and complete construction of two Alternate Care Facilities. This coordination and tireless effort creates space for nearly 100 additional beds for COVID-19 response for Navajo Nation, and we are very glad to be out here supporting.”

The Navajo Police Department continues to enforce the Nation’s 57-hour weekend curfew by setting up checkpoints along roadways and issuing citations to curfew violators. 

“We know our men and women in uniform are giving everything they have and we know some may be getting tired, but we want them to know that they are always in our prayers and we are cheering them on. We worked with the Division of Human Resources to ensure they receive special duty pay for working hard to protect our communities during this pandemic. As we move forward, let’s work together to flatten the curve by staying home as much as possible. We will overcome COVID-19 together,” Vice President Lizer stated.

For more information including reports, helpful prevention tips, and more resources, please visit the Navajo Department of Health’s COVID-19 website at http://www.ndoh.navajo-nsn.gov/COVID-19. To contact the main Navajo Health Command Operations Center, please call (928) 871-7014.

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Levi Rickert
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Levi Rickert (Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation) is the founder, publisher and editor of Native News Online. He can be reached at [email protected]