Navajo Nation reports ICU beds full; Hopi Tribe reports COVID-19 fatigue
WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. — Navajo Nation health officials have reported 225 new COVID-19 cases and two additional deaths with intensive care unit beds at healthcare facilities now at full capacity.
Officials said the new numbers released Dec. 5 push the total of cases since the pandemic began to 17,738 with 667 known deaths.
The tribe reports 170,343 people have been tested for coronavirus and 9,797 have recovered.
“Our ICU beds are at 100 percent capacity and we’re still not seeing the most dire impacts from the (Thanksgiving) holiday gathering that occurred,” said Navajo Nation Council Speaker Seth Damon.
Tribal President Jonathan Nez has extended a stay-at-home order through Dec. 28 to try to curb the virus’ spread.
Starting Dec. 7, business hours will be extended to between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. on weekdays. They must close on weekends the rest of the month.
Residents are required to stay home unless they must report to work, or need to get food, medication or essential supplies.
Nez has urged residents not to leave the reservation or to gather with families, which officials have said contributed to uncontrolled spread in most Navajo communities.
In November, The Hopi Tribe returned to Phase Zero, which mandated a stay-at-home order until numbers were in a downward trajectory for 14 days.
A press release in November said increasing numbers were from fatigue with COVID-19 guidelines, like social distancing form others in public spaces and wearing a face mask.
“We do not have an unlimited supply of health care workers. If they get ill, then they can’t work. Or if they get exposed, then they can’t work because they have to quarantine,” said Hopi Chairman Timothy Nuvangyaoma. “We have to all do our part in combatting this virus. Hopi lives matter.”
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