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Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez surveys a converted gymnasium in Chinle, Ariz. that will serve as temporary medical facility to house those stricken with coronavirus on the Navajo Nation.

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. — The number of deaths from COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) has reached five on the Navajo Nation. This news came as the Navajo Nation announced its daily update on Monday night shortly before 8 p.m. – MDT. Also, it was announced that the number of positive tests for the deadly COVID-19 has reached a total of 148 for the Navajo Nation.

The 148 cases include the following counties:

Navajo County, AZ: 69

Apache County, AZ: 16 *changed due to clarification of one individual’s residency

Coconino County, AZ: 32

McKinley County, NM: 9

San Juan County, NM: 15

Cibola County, NM: 1

San Juan County, UT: 6

With the mounting number of coronavirus cases on the Navajo Nation, the country’s largest Indian reservation, on Sunday, Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez  and Vice President Myron Lizer spoke with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) - Region 9 Administrator Robert J. Fenton.

The Navajo Nation leadership has decided to accept FEMA’s assistance to coordinate the mobilization of federal personnel to deliver much needed equipment including 58 beds, blankets, personal protective equipment, and other essential items at the Chinle Community Center.

On Monday, Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer met with health care officials and emergency responders who are working to fully establish a federal medical station to help fight the spread of COVID-19 in the community of Chinle, Ariz.

The temporary facility will house 58 beds.

“We are thankful to FEMA and Mr. Natay for the assistance, but we also recognize that it’s not enough. In speaking with the health care experts, the supplies that were delivered won’t last a full week, but we’re continuing to work hard every day to bring more and more resources,” President Nez said.

The Navajo Nation also issued a new Public Health Order to extend the current “Stay at Home Order” and implemented a curfew for the entire Navajo Nation that requires everyone to stay home ‪from 8:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m., seven days a week. It states that all individuals shall be at home during curfew hours except in the event of an emergency. This curfew does not apply to essential employees reporting to or from duty, with official identification and/or a letter of designation from their essential business employer on official letterhead which includes a contact for verification.

“Stay home and stay safe! The Navajo Police Department, under Police Chief Francisco, will be visible in communities throughout the Nation to make sure people are complying with the new curfew. We need to protect our people,” added President Nez.

The Public Health Order outlines provisions for essential businesses as well. Everyone is encouraged to read the entire Public Health Order, which is available on the Navajo Department of Health website at: http://www.ndoh.navajo-nsn.gov/COVID-19.

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

For up-to-date information about COVID-19, Native News Online encourages you to go to Indian Health Service’s COVID-19 webpage and review CDC’s COVID-19 webpage. 

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About The Author
Levi Rickert
Author: Levi RickertEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Levi Rickert (Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation) is the founder, publisher and editor of Native News Online. Rickert was awarded Best Column 2021 Native Media Award for the print/online category by the Native American Journalists Association. He serves on the advisory board of the Multicultural Media Correspondents Association. He can be reached at [email protected]