Second member of the Navajo Nation tests positive for COVID-19
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez announced in the afternoon March 17 that a second member of the Navajo Nation tested positive for COVID-19 coronavirus.
The second person was a middle-aged male from the same region as the first person who tested positive within the Kayenta IHS Service Area.
This individual also had a recent travel history, according the president, and reported their symptoms to the Kayenta Health Center and was taken to a hospital in Phoenix for further testing.
Both individuals from the Navajo Nation are hospitalized in Phoenix in stable condition, according to a Navajo Nation press conference held March 18.
“We call upon our Navajo people to stay home and remain calm to prevent the spread of the virus among our communities. We also ask the public to be vigilant and respectful of first responders, health care workers, and emergency management officials who are responding to these cases. Please continue to pray for these individuals, their families and all of the people of our Nation as we get through this together,” Nez said.
The incident command group is following up and tracking who those two people came into contact with.
Nez said the Navajo Nation does not have the ability to block off roads going onto and off the reservation, but he does ask the public to respect the Nation and to take into account that all Navajo Nation Parks and Recreation areas are closed.
The Nation will hand out pamphlets, and billboards will announce closures and the Nation may hand out a frequently asked questionnaire for those who have questions. Nez and Vice President Lizer made the initial announcement live on KTNN AM 660 and 101.5 FM on Tuesday afternoon. KTNN Radio is holding forums every Thursday at 6 p.m. (DST).
District Courts on the Nation are putting together a contingency plan, which will include an essential service plan. Right now, if you have a case, the courts asked that you call and find out what the procedure will be.
The Nation reported that it has 170 beds, 13 ICU beds, 52 isolation rooms and 28 ventilators.
One hundred people have been tested as of March 18.
In order to provide more resources, Nez and Lizer continue to communicate with members of Congress to secure more federal funding and to gain support for efforts in emergency operations and health care professionals.
“We are taking all proper actions at this time. Through the power of prayer, we will overcome this pandemic as our ancestors did. While the situation may be alarming, we understand that there are many people who are recovering from the virus so we should remain positive in our thoughts and prayers,” Lizer said.
On March 17, the Navajo Agricultural Products Industry contributed $1 million to help the Navajo Nation address the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus.
Nez and Lizer extended their appreciation to all of the Health Command Operations Center officials, health care workers, emergency personnel, doctors, nurses and all first responders for working hard to protect the Navajo people.
More information or questions may be directed to the Navajo Health Command Operations Center at (928) 871-7014.