Navajo Nation citizen who had symptoms of COVID-19 went to Kayenta Health Center and then transferred to Phoenix hospital. (Courtesy Photo)

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. Leaders of the Navajo Nation and the Indian Health Service confirmed the first COVID-19 case of a Navajo citizen on Tuesday afternoon. 

Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez, Vice President Myron Lizer and Indian Health Service reported that the COVID-19 case involves a 46-year-old Navajo citizen from the community of Chilchinbeto, Ariz.  

The individual, who was recently on travel outside the Navajo Nation, first reported having coronavirus symptoms to the Kayenta Health Center in Kayenta, Ariz. The individual has been transferred to a hospital in Phoenix, Ariz., where a test was conducted by the Arizona Department of Health. Members of the individual’s family are being screened and isolated.

President Nez and Vice President Lizer will provide more information live at 5:00 p.m. (MDT) on Wednesday on KTNN-AM 660 and 101.5 FM.  

“We have health and emergency experts who have been planning and preparing for this situation for several weeks,” Nez said in a statement.  “We call upon our Navajo people to do their best to remain calm and make good decisions by staying home to prevent the spread of the virus among our communities. 

“We are in close contact with officials from the Kayenta Indian Health Service Unit, Arizona Department of Health, Navajo County, and Navajo Area Indian Health Service to take the proper measures to inform the public, take precautions, and remain proactive.”  

President Nez and Vice President Lizer ask for the public to remain calm and to let the health and emergency experts do what they are trained to do in these situations.

Questions from the public may be directed to the Navajo Health Command Operations Center at (928) 871-7014. If a person has symptoms related to the COVID-19 virus, please contact your local health care center prior to your arrival. Please see list of health care center on the Navajo Nation:

Chinle Comprehensive Health Care Facility

(928) 674-7001/7688 

Crownpoint Health Care Facility

(505) 786-5291/6381 

Fort Defiance Indian Hospital Board, INC

(928) 729-8000 

Gallup Indian Medical Center

(505) 722-1000 

Sage Memorial 

(928) 755-4500 

Kayenta Health Center 

(928) 697-4000 

Northern Navajo Medical Center

(505) 368-6001 

Tuba City Regional Health Care

(866) 976-5941 

Utah Navajo Health System

(866) 976-5941 

Winslow Indian Health Care Center

(928) 289-4646 

Arizona Poison and Drug Information Center

(844) 542-8201 

New Mexico Coronavirus Hotline

(855) 600-3453

Support Independent Indigenous Journalism

Native News Online is an independent, Indigenous-led newsroom with a crucial mission:  We want to change the narrative about Indian Country. We do this by producing intelligent, fact-based journalism that tells the full story from all corners of Indian Country.  We pride ourselves on covering the tribes you may have never heard of before and by respecting and listening to the communities we serve through our reporting. As newsrooms across the country continue to shrink, coverage of Indian Country is more important than ever, and we are committed to filling this ever-present hole in journalism.

Because we believe everyone in Indian Country deserves equal access to news and commentary pertaining to them, their relatives and their communities, the story you’ve just finished was free — and we want to keep it that way, for all readers. But we hope it inspires you to make a gift to Native News Online so that we can continue publishing more stories that make a difference to Native people, whether they live on or off the reservation. Your donation will help us keep producing quality journalism and elevating Indigenous voices. Any contribution of any amount, big or small, gives us a better, stronger future and allows us to remain a force for change. 
Donate to Native News Online today and support independent Indigenous journalism. Thank you.

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