214 cases, 7 deaths
For the past two weeks, the evenings have been filled with dread because that is when the day’s tallies of coronavirus cases and confirmed deaths were usually announced.
As of Wednesday evening, there were 214 cases and seven deaths reported. Since the first two cases were identified on March 17, the increase of cases have risen dramatically, and experts say they will continue to rise into May. Deaths are also becoming more anticipated, which is why Navajo leadership has stressed at great length for everyone to stay home and practice social distancing.
“In a few parts of the country, they are beginning to see a slight decline in new cases and it’s due to more and more residents staying home and practicing social distancing,” said President Jonathan Nez. “Here on the Navajo Nation, we need everyone to fully grasp the importance of social distancing and the impact it has on fighting the spread of COVID-19.”
Here is the breakdown of cases by county: in Arizona, Navajo County has 97, Apache, 22, and Coconino, 49; in New Mexico, San Juan, 22, McKinley, 14 and Cibola, 3; and in Utah, San Juan, 7. Before the coronavirus hit Navajo, strides were made to prevent or at least isolate any cases.
Now that it’s here different steps have happened in a short time: stay-at-home orders, elderly hours in supermarkets, chapters reducing quorums, closure of Navajo government offices for non-essential employees, closing of all parks and tourist sites, closure of non-essential businesses, closure of schools and Monday’s 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew.
“Every Council delegate is on the ground in their communities doing essential work in coordinating information from multiple agencies, programs, and relief efforts,” said Speaker Seth Damon. “The legislative branch views chapter leaders and community members as essential partners in the Nation’s effort to properly address this global pandemic.”