Navajo Nation identifies 34 communities with uncontrolled spread of COVID-19
WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. – On Nov. 11, the Navajo Department of Health issued a Health Advisory Notice to warn residents of the “uncontrolled spread” of COVID-19 in 34 communities on the Navajo Nation. The cases reflect dates from Oct. 23 to Nov. 5.
The advisory will be in effect until the risk and cases decline. The following communities are identified as areas with uncontrolled spread of COVID-19:
Lake Valley Littlewater
Shiprock Smith Lake*
White Horse Lake
*Chapters added in the new 14-day period
The Navajo Nation will have a 56-hour weekend curfew beginning at 9 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 13, 2020 until 5 a.m. (MST) on Monday, Nov. 16, 2020.
The increase in the uncontrolled spread of COVID-19 is largely due to travel off the Navajo Nation and family gatherings
The Navajo Department of Health recommends that residents take precautions to protect their health from the spread of COVID-19. Those who are at increased risk for severe illness due to COVID-19 include older adults and those with cancer, chronic kidney disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, heart conditions, immunocompromised state, obesity and severe obesity, pregnant, sickle cell disease, diabetes, and those who smoke.
The Department of Health also cautions those who have asthma, cerebrovascular disease, cystic fibrosis, high blood pressure, neurologic conditions such as dementia, liver disease, pulmonary fibrosis, and thalassemia.
“We have to do everything in our power to prevent this surge from surpassing the first wave of COVID-19 cases that we saw in April and May,” said Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez. “Our health care system will be overwhelmed and in a crisis situation if we keep seeing increases in new cases.”
Nex explained that the uncontrolled spread of COVID-19 means that people who are testing positive in those areas may not know where or how they contracted the virus.
“We are urging all of our people to be safe, to wear a mask at all times in public, maintain social distancing, wash your hands often, and stay home as much as possible,” Nez said. “There should be no family gatherings of any kind due to the risks of this virus. We are dealing with an invisible monster and the only way we are going to beat this virus is by doing it together and listening to our public health experts.”
On Nov.10, the state of New Mexico reported 1,266 new cases of COVID-19, the state of Arizona reported 3,434 new cases, and Utah reported 2,517.
“The safest place to be is at home on the Navajo Nation,” said Vice President Myron Lizer. “We have to remain optimistic and never lose hope because eventually we will overcome this pandemic.”
More information, including helpful prevention tips, and resources to help stop the spread of COVID-19 is available by visiting the Navajo Department of Health's COVID-19 website: http://www.ndoh.navajo-nsn.gov/COVID-19 or calling (928) 871-7014.