- By Native News Online Staff
WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. — On Wednesday, the Navajo Department of Health issued a Health Advisory Notice to warn residents of the “uncontrolled spread” of COVID-19 in 34 communities on the Navajo Nation.
The cases reflect dates from October 23 to November 5, 2020. The advisory will be in effect until the risk and cases decline. The following communities are identified as areas with uncontrolled spread of COVID-19:
White Horse Lake*
* Chapters added in the new 14-day period
The Navajo Department of Health recommends that residents take precautions to protect their health from the spread of COVID-19. Those who are at increased risk for severe illness due to COVID-19 include older adults and those with cancer, chronic kidney disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, heart conditions, immunocompromised state, obesity and severe obesity, pregnant, sickle cell disease, diabetes, and those who smoke. The Department of Health also cautions those who have asthma, cerebrovascular disease, cystic fibrosis, high blood pressure, neurologic conditions such as dementia, liver disease, pulmonary fibrosis, and thalassemia.
“We have to do everything in our power to prevent this surge from surpassing the first wave of COVID-19 cases that we saw in April and May. Our health care system will be overwhelmed and in a crisis situation if we keep seeing increases in new cases. The uncontrolled spread of COVID-19 means that people who are testing positive in these areas may not know where or how they contracted the virus. Community spread of COVID-19 here on the Navajo Nation, so we are urging all of our people to be safe, to wear a mask at all times in public, maintain social distancing, wash your hands often, and stay home as much as possible. There should be no family gatherings of any kind due to the risks of this virus. We are dealing with an invisible monster and the only way we are going to beat this virus is by doing it together and listening to our public health experts,” Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez said.
On Thursday, the Navajo Department of Health, in coordination with the Navajo Epidemiology Center and the Navajo Area Indian Health Service, reported 143 new COVID-19 positive cases for the Navajo Nation and no recent deaths. The total number of deaths remains 596 as previously reported on Wednesday. Reports indicate that 7,902 individuals have recovered from COVID-19, and 135,864 COVID-19 tests have been administered. The total number of positive COVID-19 cases is now 12,971, including 10 delayed unreported cases.
Navajo Nation COVID-19 positive cases by Service Unit:
- Chinle Service Unit: 2,847
- Crownpoint Service Unit: 1,407
- Ft. Defiance Service Unit: 1,303
- Gallup Service Unit: 1,996
- Kayenta Service Unit: 1,469
- Shiprock Service Unit: 1,952
- Tuba City Service Unit: 1,334
- Winslow Service Unit: 654
* Nine residences with COVID-19 positive cases are not specific enough to place them accurately in a Service Unit.
The Navajo Nation will have a 56-hour weekend curfew beginning at 9:00 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 13, 2020 until 5:00 a.m. (MST) on Monday, Nov. 16, 2020 due to the spread of COVID-19 on the Navajo Nation, largely due to travel off the Navajo Nation and family gatherings.
On Thursday, the state of New Mexico reported 1,753 new cases of COVID-19, the state of Arizona reported 1,399 new cases, and Utah reported a single-day record-high of 3,919.
“Today, the state of Utah reported 3,919 new COVID-19 cases for one single day, setting a new record for the state. This is an extraordinarily high number of cases. We strongly caution our Navajo people who reside in Utah communities and cities to use extreme caution. The numbers for the state of New Mexico and Arizona are also very high and all states continue to report a high number of hospitalizations as well. The safest place for our Navajo citizens is at home here on the Navajo Nation. Stay local, stay safe. We cannot let this second wave surpass the first wave of cases that we had in the spring time. Let’s bring our numbers down by holding ourselves and our family members accountable. We have to think of others, especially our elders, students, and those with underlying health conditions,” said Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez.
On Friday, Nov. 13, the Nez-Lizer Administration will distribute food packages at Tsayatoh Chapter at 2:00 p.m. (MST) and Houck Chapter at 4:00 p.m. (MST) to help families stay home and stay safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We ask all of our Navajo people to join us for “Navajo Nation Day of Prayer” on Friday, as we offer prayers for our Nation as we continue to see a rise in new cases of COVID-19. The rise in new cases is even more severe in border towns and cities off of the Navajo Nation, so we strongly urge our people to stay home as much as possible and keep their loved ones safe from this devastating virus. Please help our first responders by remaining safe and diligent during this pandemic,” said Vice President Myron Lizer.
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=1605324265716000&usg=AOvVaw1_bm5nM8AXNMJF9K0d_2Xc">http://www.ndoh.navajo-nsn.gov/COVID-19. For COVID-19 related questions and information, call (928) 871-7014.
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