Army National Guard delivers supplies to Navajo Nation to help fight COVID-19
WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. — The Arizona Army National Guard delivered donated personal protective equipment (PPE) to the Navajo Nation April 4.
Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez, Vice President Myron Lizer, and the Navajo Health Command Operations Center met with the Arizona Army National Guard State Surgeon Col. Tom Leeper, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, FEMA Region 9 officials, Team Rubicon and the Chinle Comprehensive Healthcare Facility Incident Command team April 4 to receive the (PPE) in Chinle.
Items received will be sorted and delivered to surrounding medical facilities for health care workers to use in the fight against the spread of COVID-19. The items were donated from various businesses in the Phoenix area.
“We don't have the best health care on the Navajo Nation, but we are stepping up to get as much equipment as possible to help those on the frontlines. As the first people of this country, we should not be the last to get equipment. We thank all of the businesses who contributed to help our health care workers," Nez said. "We just have to constantly remind our federal and state partners that we are still here! We are resilient just like our ancestors and we will continue to prosper long after this pandemic is over.”
Leaders also met with the Chinle Comprehensive Healthcare Facility Incident Command team, to discuss strategies to mitigate the surge in new COVID-19 cases and to increase staffing for the federal medical station.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will complete a rapid risk assessment on potential sites in the coming days in Chinle and Kayenta, then provide recommendations on which facility best meet the needs and standards, according to the healthcare guidelines and health experts. The establishment of these medical stations will likely shelter patients who test positive for COVID-19, who show less severe symptoms, to isolate the virus and prevent it from spreading.
“We haven’t nearly reached the peak of the virus — that’s what our health care experts are telling us. So, we need to be proactive and do everything we can to prepare for the worse, but pray and hope for the best. We thank everyone who is working around the clock and behind the scenes to help our Navajo people,” Lizer said.
More supplies will continue to be delivered by the National Guard, as first responders continue to fight COVID-19 on the frontlines. The Nez-Lizer team said it will continue to pray for everyone, including health care providers and first responders, who are doing their best to provide resources and services to our Navajo citizens. A Public Health Emergency “Stay at Home Order” remains in effect requiring all residents of the Navajo Nation to stay home and isolate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, except for essential work and activities.
The Navajo Nation’s daily curfew also remains in effect from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. The curfew does not apply to essential employees reporting to or from duty, with official identification and/or a letter of designation from their essential business employer on official letterhead which includes a contact for verification.
Radio forums from the president and vice president are also scheduled for Tuesdays and Thursdays at 6 p.m. on KTNN 660AM and 101.5FM.
More information including reports, helpful prevention tips, and more resources is available from the Navajo Department of Health at http://www.ndoh.navajo-nsn.gov/COVID-19.