Indianz.Com > COVID-19 > Navajo Nation (Arizona, New Mexico, Utah)
Posted: September 22, 2020


The Navajo Nation

Office of the President and Vice President

September 21, 2020

11 new cases, 7,232 recoveries, and no recent deaths related to COVID-19 as Nation prepares to implement stricter measures as cluster cases reported

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. – Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer are urging all Navajo Nation residents to use extreme caution due to new reports of increases in COVID-19 cases in the Sage Memorial Hospital service area in Arizona and in satellite chapters in the Eastern Navajo Agency, which are directly related to family gatherings where social distancing and the wearing of face masks were not enforced. Under the advisement of health care professionals and experts, the Nation will re-implement its Stay-At-Home order, 57-hour weekend lockdowns, and other measures to help contain the further spread of the virus – a public health emergency order is expected to be finalized on Tuesday.

“We have been notified of new clusters of COVID-19 cases resulting from family gatherings, despite active public health orders that clearly restrict any in-person gatherings. Some cases involve individuals who traveled to cities off of the Navajo Nation, returned home with the virus, and spread it to others. While these new cases are being investigated, our public health experts and contact tracers have begun to mobilize resources to help identify those who may have been exposed to the virus, to isolate positive cases, and provide food and other essential items to those who are now in isolation. These new cluster cases are very troubling because we do not yet know the extent to which these individuals came into contact with people in the general public,” said President Nez.

The Navajo Nation implemented numerous public health emergency orders that restricts in-person gatherings, restricts traveling off the Nation, requires the wearing of masks and social distancing, and other strict measures to reduce the risks of COVID-19.

“We have told our people repeatedly that there remains substantial risk if you choose to travel off the Nation and hold family gatherings. Cities and towns near the Navajo Nation continue to see large increases in daily COVID-19 cases. It only takes a few positive cases to lead to another surge and we all know that our health care system cannot handle another large surge. We have to keep our guard up and hold each other accountable. If you have friends or family members who are traveling or holding gatherings, tell them that they are putting their loved ones at risk and jeopardizing the health and lives of others,” President Nez added.

On Monday, the Navajo Department of Health, in coordination with the Navajo Epidemiology Center and the Navajo Area Indian Health Service, reported 11 new COVID-19 positive cases for the Navajo Nation, which does not include the recently reported cluster cases that are under investigation, and no recent deaths. The total number of deaths remains 548 as previously reported on Saturday. Reports indicate that 7,234 individuals have recovered from COVID-19 and 102,442 COVID-19 tests have been administered. The total number of positive COVID-19 cases is now 10,131, which includes one additional case that was previously unreported due to delayed reporting.

Navajo Nation COVID-19 positive cases by Service Unit:

  • Chinle Service Unit: 2,365
  • Crownpoint Service Unit: 837
  • Ft. Defiance Service Unit: 983
  • Gallup Service Unit: 1,623
  • Kayenta Service Unit: 1,329
  • Shiprock Service Unit: 1,551
  • Tuba City Service Unit: 956
  • Winslow Service Unit: 481

* Six residences with COVID-19 positive cases are not specific enough to place them accurately in a Service Unit.

On Monday, the state of Utah reported 622 new cases of COVID-19, the state of Arizona reported 233 new cases, and New Mexico reported 106.

“The reports received are very alarming and we need to be diligent in how we respond. We must remember that we have the strength and resilience of our ancestors within us. In order to protect our elders and children, we have to continue to adhere to the public health emergency orders that have helped to flatten the curve and reduce the spread of the virus. Keep fighting hard and keep praying for our people who are recovering, those fighting for their lives, our first responders, and our entire Nation,” said Vice President 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: For COVID-19 related questions and information, call ‪‪‪(928) ‪‪‪871-7014‪.

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