Later on, President Jonathan Nez of the Navajo Nation sounded the alarm as well. Although the tribe has maintained a stay-at-home order for more than a year, some nearby jurisdictions — mainly the entire state of Arizona — have already lifted restrictions they had in place. “According to public health officials, parts of the country are now seeing a rise in new COVID-19 infections due to increases in travel and some states lifting restrictions too soon,” Nez said on Monday evening. “We are doing everything we can to help reduce the number of new infections, hospitalizations, and deaths,” Nez added. According to IHS data from March 28, only 2.7 percent of coronavirus tests reported to the IHS have been positive in the last seven days. That’s a far cry from early January, when the 7-day positivity rate spiked as high as 16.5 percent. Last year, during the holiday season, rates were consistently high for weeks on end. Even now, some regions of the IHS appear to be experiencing upticks. The 7-day positivity rate in the Great Plains Area, which includes Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota, rose from 3.3 percent to 5 percent, according to the most recent data. The Navajo Area is seeing an increase as well. “We must remain vigilant,” Dr. Clark said on the IHS call. “Regardless of vaccination availability and the total number of COVID-19 cases, we continue to advocate that people who exhibit symptoms consistent with COVID, and those who suspect that they’ve been exposed to someone with the disease, should continue to get tested.” “Testing is still an indicator of where COVID is and where it is going,” Clark said.
5 new cases, 16,359 recoveries, and no recent deaths related to COVID-19 pic.twitter.com/Yb2TKpTU7r— Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez (@NNPrezNez) March 29, 2021
The IHS updates its COVID-19 testing and results data every day, with figures based on what’s reported from tribal, urban and federally-managed sites two days prior. However, the information is incomplete, as facilities run directly by tribes, as well as those that are part of the urban Indian health program, are not required to disclose their figures. According to the IHS, only 33 percent of tribal facilities and 44 percent of urban Indian organizations have been reporting COVID-19 data to the public since the start of the pandemic a year ago. The IHS updates COVID-19 vaccination data once a week, showing how many doses have been distributed and administered across the IHS areas. But no data is being kept about urban Indians, an official from the Albuquerque Area of the agency said on the media call on Monday. “I don’t have urban Indian clinic specific data,” said Dr. Julianna Reece, the chief medical officer for the region, which is home to four urban Indian organizations in the states of New Mexico and Colorado. “But we do work very closely with our urban health centers and support their initiatives,” said Reece, who cited a recent COVID-19 vaccination event that took place at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where about 4.7 percent of the population is Native.
Nicholas Boudreaux, a member of the Chitimacha Tribe of Louisiana, talks about why he felt it was important to get the #COVID19 vaccine to protect his community. Contact your local IHS, tribal or urban Indian health facility to #getvaccinated! https://t.co/WhjZSTjlGZ pic.twitter.com/G2hfwomR46— IndianHealthService (@IHSgov) March 29, 2021
‘It hurts our heart’: Indian school focuses on safety as year comes to a close
Bureau of Indian Affairs invests $29 million in dam safety program
Business Meeting to consider S.3381, S.3773 & S.3789 and Roundtable discussion on “Public Safety in Native Communities”
Native America Calling: Federal boarding schools: now what?
Tlingit entrepreneur Alyssa London lands major television contributor spot
Native America Calling: The cost of educational barriers
Supreme Court turns down Indian Country taxation case as high-profile session continues
AUDIO: House Subcommittee for Indigenous Peoples of the United States Legislative Hearing on H.R.5444
Cronkite News: Alzheimer’s cases expected to rise across the nation
Chuck Hoskin: Cherokee Nation works to prevent domestic violence
NAFOA: 5 Things You Need to Know this Week
Native America Calling: ‘Walking iron’
Native America Calling: Indigenous hockey
House Subcommittee for Indigenous Peoples of the United States Legislative Hearing on H.R.5444