- By Levi Rickert
WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. — Even as the Navajo Indian Reservation is under a 57-hour curfew, new numbers released Saturday evening by the Navajo Nations show confirmed cases of COVID-19 virus almost doubled since last Sunday and the death toll has grown to 24. The total of confirmed cases reached 698. Last Sunday, the total cases stood at 354.
The death toll increased by two since Friday’s report to 24.
According to the Navajo Department of Health and Navajo Area Indian Health Service, in coordination with the Navajo Epidemiology Center. The report also indicates that there is now a total of 2,760 negative test results as of Saturday.
The 698 confirmed positive cases include the following counties:
- Navajo County, AZ: 252
- Apache County, AZ: 79
- Coconino County, AZ: 150
- McKinley County, NM: 92
- San Juan County, NM: 97
- Cibola County, NM: 11
- San Juan County, UT: 11
- Socorro County, NM: 6
Saturday’s report of 101 news cases represents the largest increase in a single day since the first two cases of the deadly virus were announced on March 17.
Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer have also been informed that Abbot ID rapid test kits will become available at Navajo Area IHS facilities and tribally-operated health care centers in the next few days, which will allow for test results within several minutes. Currently, test results take an average of two to four days to process.
"Quicker test results will likely result in even higher numbers of positive cases, but it will help to identify those who have the virus and begin to mitigate the cases much quicker. We must do better. If we all stay home this weekend, the spread will lessen. For those celebrating Easter on Sunday, we strongly urge everyone to participate in church services offered through the internet, television, radio, and other safe means of communication. To our health care workers and first responders, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for everything you are doing to help our people. We know it is not easy, but we are with you and we are praying for you every day,” Nez said,
The Navajo president thanked everyone that is complying with the curfew and following recommendations from health care professionals.
April 10-13 has been declared, "Navajo Nation Family Prayer Weekend," in observance of the Easter holiday and to encourage families to pray together for those who are sick, the families who have lost loved ones due to COVID-19, first responders, and many others.
“There is always a light of hope in every challenge that our Navajo people have ever faced and this is no different. Yes, the numbers are growing, but many people are also testing negative for the virus and many are recovering as well. We will beat COVID-19 together, but we will beat it quicker if we stay home as much as possible,” said Vice President Lizer.
The Navajo Nation’s 57-hour curfew took effect on Friday at 8:00 p.m. and continues until Monday at 5:00 a.m., with the exception of essential employees who are required to have documentation from their employer. Navajo Police will strictly enforce the curfew order by issuing citations that may include a fine up to $1,000 and/or 30 days in jail.
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.
For up to date information on impact the coronavirus pandemic is having in the United States and around the world go to: https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/us/?fbclid=IwAR1vxfcHfMBnmTFm6hBICQcdbV5aRnMimeP3hVYHdlxJtFWdKF80VV8iHgE
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