As of Thursday, there were 4,944 confirmed cases on the reservation, according to the Navajo Department of Health . But while the rates are slowing, Nez expressed concern that the tribe could witness a spike in positive cases as cities bordering the reservation begin to reopen businesses. He was especially concerned after witnessing the crowds across the state over Memorial Day weekend. “It is most important, very important that we stay home,” Nez said. “But now is not the time to go to the big cities. Now is not the time to be vacationing. What affects us here in the Navajo affects everyone across the nation.” Nez pledged to continue Navajo Nation’s high testing rate. Tribal officials administered more than 32,000 tests – more than 15% of Navajos living on the reservation, a per capita rate that exceeds some states and countries, Nez said. Additionally, Nez said, the tribe is receiving up to 30,000 more tests and setting up new testing centers, including one held Friday at Tuba City High School . Also Thursday, the Hopi Tribe and Tohono O’odham Nation received about $1.2 million in pandemic relief from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. “The COVID-19 pandemic has hit many Tribal communities, particularly in rural areas, very hard,” HRSA Administrator Tom Engels said in a statement. “By directing new resources to these areas, we are hoping to make a difference that will result in fewer new infections of this pernicious virus.”
"The curve is flattening": The number of #COVID19 positive cases has reached 4,794 on the Navajo Nation. Nearly 1,500 have recovered from the #Coronavirus on the largest reservation in the United States. @NNPrezNez @NNVP_Lizer #Arizona #NewMexico #Utah https://t.co/Zozvz3tofi pic.twitter.com/LdFM6yIjkx— indianz.com (@indianz) May 26, 2020
Note: This story originally appeared on Cronkite News and is published via a Creative Commons license. Cronkite News is produced by the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.