- By Native News Online Staff
WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. — On Tuesday, the Navajo Department of Health, in coordination with the Navajo Epidemiology Center and the Navajo Area Indian Health Service, reported 118 new Covid-19 positive cases for the Navajo Nation and 15 more deaths.
The total number of deaths is now 837 as of Tuesday. Reports indicate that 12,545 individuals have recovered from Covid-19, and 208,956 Covid-19 tests have been administered. The total number of positive Covid-19 cases is now 23,978, including 19 delayed reported cases.
Navajo Nation Covid-19 positive cases by Service Unit:
- Chinle Service Unit: 4,466
- Crownpoint Service Unit: 2,446
- Ft. Defiance Service Unit: 2,507
- Gallup Service Unit: 3,856
- Kayenta Service Unit: 2,271
- Shiprock Service Unit: 4,202
- Tuba City Service Unit: 2,688
- Winslow Service Unit: 1,515
* 27 residences with Covid-19 positive cases are not specific enough to place them accurately in a Service Unit.
On Tuesday, the state of Arizona reported 5,932 new cases, Utah reported 3,318, and New Mexico reported 1,201 new cases. The Navajo Department of Health and Navajo Area Indian Health Service have begun the second phase of vaccinations on the Navajo Nation known as Phase 1B, which includes high-risk individuals, those who are 65 years and older, adults in congregate settings, spiritual leaders, frontline essential workers, first responders, essential infrastructure workers, and essential businesses. The first phase included vaccines for health care workers and residents and employees of long-term assisted care facilities, under the guidance of the CDC and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.
“With the first round of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines that were received, Navajo Area IHS was able to provide the first dose of the vaccines to our frontline health care workers and those who live in long-term assisted living facilities and their employees. Now, they have begun arranging appointments for the Phase 1B individuals to receive the first dose of the vaccine. We know many people want to get the vaccine, but it takes time due to the high demand across the country, the time it takes to produce and transport, and the time it takes to safely administer the vaccines in the health care facilities. It takes a lot of coordination, but our health care workers are doing their best to help as many people as possible. Starting on Monday, Jan. 11, Navajo Area IHS and the tribal health organizations will begin focusing more of their time and resources on making the vaccines available to our elderly population who are 65 years and older. We also have to keep in mind that both the Pfizer and Moderna require two separate doses to be administered to everyone approximately 21 days apart,” Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez said.
On Dec. 30, Navajo Area IHS reported that 11,800 doses of vaccine were received and another 11,700 has been set aside to provide second doses to those individuals. Navajo Area IHS anticipates receiving additional doses in the coming weeks. Navajo Area HIS also reported that as additional shipments of the Covid-19 vaccines are received, each health care facility will provide vaccines to appropriate priority groups. Depending on the population and available vaccine allocations, some facilities have been able to provide the vaccine to certain target groups earlier than other facilities.
Due to the severe health risks associated with Covid-19 and the fact that reinfection with Covid-19 is possible, individuals who have previously tested positive for Covid-19 are able to receive the vaccine after 14 days of being free of Covid-19 symptoms. Additionally, current evidence suggests that reinfection with the virus that causes Covid-19 is uncommon in the 90 days after initial infection. Therefore, people with a recent infection may delay vaccination until the end of that 90-day period if desired. It is recommended not to have the Covid-19 vaccine within two weeks of other vaccines. All Covid-19 vaccinations are voluntary.
If you are interested in receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, you may contact your local Navajo Area IHS Service Unit to schedule an appointment or if you have any questions. The Nez-Lizer Administration will be joined by Navajo Area IHS officials and tribal health organizations during a live online town hall on Thursday, Jan. 7 at 10:00 a.m. (MST) to provide additionalCovid-19 vaccination updates and information.
Covid-19 testing schedules are available online at the Navajo Health Command Operations Center website: https://www.google.com/url?q=https://www.ndoh.navajo-nsn.gov/COVID-19/COVID-19-Testing&source=gmail&ust=1609988216761000&usg=AFQjCNE4g0-0yGsF5kbBHOEemo3dvh82DA">https://www.ndoh.navajo-nsn.gov/COVID-19/COVID-19-Testing. For more information, including helpful prevention tips, and resources to help stop the spread of COVID-19, visit the Navajo Department of Health's COVID-19 website: https://www.google.com/url?q=http://www.ndoh.navajo-nsn.gov/COVID-19&source=gmail&ust=1609988216761000&usg=AFQjCNFNZjrSIguoGg53t5MaBnvta9TPQw">http://www.ndoh.navajo-nsn.gov/COVID-19. For COVID-19 related questions and information, call (928) 871-7014.
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