- By Levi Rickert
WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. — With the reported 11 new cases announced on the Navajo Nation, the downward trend is being viewed as a positive direction by Navajo Nation leadership.
“Having only 11 new cases does not mean that we are in the clear. Instead, we should challenge ourselves to continue holding our loved ones accountable for complying with the public health orders and recommendations from the health care experts. Until there is a safe vaccine available, we must remain diligent and make good choices for ourselves and everyone else. We are in this together and we will keep fighting this virus,” Navajo Nation President Nez said on Saturday.
The Navajo Nation has now reached 51 consecutive days with less than 100 daily COVID-19 cases and 16 consecutive days with less than 50.
This news is welcome to the Navajo Nation that has been the epicenter of COVID-19 in Indian Country during this pandemic. The total positive COVID-19 cases stands at 9,423 as of Saturday. The first cases on the nation's largest Indian reservation were first reported on March 17, 2020.
Another positive sign the trend is improving on the Navajo Nation is there have been no new reported deaths for two consecutive days in a row. The death toll is at 478 as of Saturday.
The Navajo Department of Health, in coordination with the Navajo Epidemiology Center and the Navajo Area Indian Health Service reports 6,970 individuals have recovered from COVID-19 and 88,263 COVID-19 tests have been administered. The total number of COVID-19 positive cases is 9,423 and negative tests total 73,994.
Navajo Nation COVID-19 positive cases by Service Unit:
· Chinle Service Unit: 2,272
· Crownpoint Service Unit: 785
· Ft. Defiance Service Unit: 733
· Gallup Service Unit: 1,513
· Kayenta Service Unit: 1,293
· Shiprock Service Unit: 1,471
· Tuba City Service Unit: 903
· Winslow Service Unit: 449
* Four residences with COVID-19 positive cases are not specific enough to place them accurately in a Service Unit.
On Saturday, the state of Arizona reported 933 new cases of COVID-19, while New Mexico reported 142 new cases, and Utah reported 345 new cases. Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer strongly urge all residents to wear masks, stay home as much as possible, wash hands, practice social distancing, and to avoid large crowds.
The Nez-Lizer Administration introduced the “Navajo Nation Reopening Plan,” which serves as a guide to safely and gradually reopen business on the Navajo Nation. The Plan includes safety-guidelines for Navajo Nation residents to follow through the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic, directs places of business to implement COVID-19 policies and procedures meeting certain standards, and provides a color-coded system for progressively reopening business on the Navajo Nation based on data-driven analysis and input from health experts.
The Navajo Nation will have another 32-hour weekend lockdown begins on Saturday, Aug. 15 at 9:00 p.m. (MDT) until Monday, Aug. 17 at 5:00 a.m. All businesses will be closed for the duration of the weekend lockdown.
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