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In numbers: Tracking COVID-19 Across the Navajo Nation

On Saturday, Navajo Nation health officials reported 26 new COVID-19 cases.  A total of 31,402 people have been sickened or died from the coronavirus.

Cases are increasing, with the Delta variant having its worst impact on the unvaccinated.  Hospitalizations and deaths among that group are increasing dramatically. The seven-day average of new cases is 30 percent higher than two weeks ago. It is 15 new cases per day.

Four new deaths were reported. Compared to two weeks ago, the seven-day average is up 12.5%. An average of about 1 new death every day has been reported during that time.  A total of 1,377 people have died from the virus.

At least 29,882 people on the Navajo Nation have recovered.

Largely, the unvaccinated are fueling the newest surge, but new information on Friday indicates the vaccinated can also spread the virus. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control is recommended masks indoors in high-risk areas, regardless of vaccination status.

“A lot of the new cases we are seeing on the Navajo Nation are due to family and social gatherings where people let their guard down and don’t wear masks. We also encourage all eligible individuals to get fully vaccinated as soon as possible,” said Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez.

Nearly half of all people within the Navajo Indian Health Service Area are fully vaccinated, or 49.6 percent of the total Navajo IHS population, as of July 29. (Using 2010 U.S. Census data on age demographics, and applying that to the Navajo IHS service population, the total of all who are eligible for the vaccine — ages 12 and older — is about 62 percent fully vaccinated.)

The first confirmed case of the Delta variant was reported June 26 in the northern region of the Navajo Nation. The Delta variant is more transmissible and can cause more severe illness. But the COVID-19 vaccines are shown to be effective at preventing serious illnesses from the variant.

Health care facilities across the Navajo Nation continue to administer COVID-19 vaccines during drive-thru events or by appointment. If you would like to receive the vaccine, please contact your health care provider for more information for your Service Unit.

With cases at an all-time low, the Navajo Nation eased some indoor restrictions and opened parks to residents only on April 26. The Nation opened parks to tourists at 50 percent capacity on July 12.

Health experts recommend continued vigilance in wearing masks, social distancing, avoiding socializing with people outside your immediate household, and hand-washing. Double-masking also is recommended. Face masks are still required indoors and outdoors on the Navajo Nation, even though the U.S. Centers for Disease Control eased guidelines on face masks for outdoors for fully vaccinated people.

For those who are fully vaccinated, the CDC has published recommendations that can be found at the following link:

A daily curfew remains in efffect from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. (MDT). Businesses may remain open until 9 p.m.

Positive Test Rate

The estimated percentage of people who tested positive was  8.3 percent on Saturday.  The 7-day average positive test rate is 5.2 percent.

The World Health Organization recommends a 7-day average positive test rate of less than 10 percent for two weeks in a row. Localities that have a test rate of 3 percent or less are most successful in containing COVID-19, according to the WHO.

At Hopi,  1,274 tribal members have been sickened by the virus. The Hopi radio station reported on its Facebook page that at least 120 people have died since the pandemic began last year, but the Hopi Tribe has not consistently reported fatalities from the virus.

The following charts and maps show the extent and location of the coronavirus on and near the Navajo Nation.  Hover over, tap or click the map markers and graph for expanded information.

(Last updated July 31, 2021, at 2:46 p.m. MDT.)

NOTE: Navajo Nation officials have been reconciling discrepancies for July and August data. At the end of August, in a press release, the president’s office added 165 cases that occurred between April 6 and Aug. 12. Then, on Sept. 8, they added 2 more cases for July. Health officials also added 16 more deaths to the overall tally at the beginning of September.  According to a news release, the deaths ocurred between May and August. Officials blamed several states for delayed results. On Sept. 16, officials added 49 previously unreported cases in New Mexico.