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Health officials report virus cases now above 4,500

WINDOW ROCK

As of Friday night, Navajo Nation health officials reported 4,529 cases of COVID-19 and 149 deaths.

They also reported 1,235 individuals have recovered from the disease.

A total of 27,932 tests were given, and of that 21,611 have tested negative.

“I don’t really want to go into the numbers through the Navajo Nation,” said Gabriel Yazzie, Kayenta Township manager. “I think the numbers don’t reflect the true numbers such as how many individuals have recovered to date.

“I want to see the number greater than what is being reported,” he said. “I’m pretty sure there are more individuals.”

Not all of the 12 health-care facilities have reported the number of recoveries as of yet. On Thursday, six facilities reported a number.

Kayenta usually hosts the popular 4th of July celebration, but Yazzie said the event is canceled.

A Navajo Nation Council bill that cancels all Navajo fairs and other events is up for committee action.

Budget and Finance Committee member Nathaniel Brown asked that the many Navajo employees who are getting paid and are staying home to please travel to Kayenta to be trained by Doctors Without Borders to educate the public on the virus.

“You’re already getting paid,” Brown said. “We’ll provide the proper (personal protective equipment). There’s a lot of teaching we want you to learn.

“Right now we have the technical assistance from Doctors Without Borders,” he said. “We need your help. We can’t do this alone.”

On Friday, Navajo government workers and President Jonathan Nez delivered food, water, clothing, protective masks and other essential items to 582 families in Navajo Mountain, Tonalea, Coal Mine, and Cameron.

Cameron Chapter President Milton Tso was helping to deliver the donations and said, even if it was last minute, he was most appreciative.

“Our stores are very strict and they’re limiting people,” said Tso.”You have to have a mask on to even enter the stores here. These guys really care about their employees and community.”

With the 57-hour lockdown, businesses are closed as well in an attempt to stop the spread of the virus. Recently videos of people getting hostile and refusing to wear masks into stores and other businesses have circulated.

Tso said stores are supplied with masks if anyone going in doesn’t have one on they are given one.

“So if you’re coming to Cameron, expect no restrooms, wear masks,” said Tso. “Please listen to them. Don’t argue with them, that’s their rules.

“Tourist going to Lake Powell this weekend, don’t even stop, the stores will be closed,” he said. “Don’t pull over and piss. I see people pissing on my beautiful land. Please respect this is our land I don’t go over to your house and piss in your backyard, so don’t do it in my backyard.”



 

About The Author

Arlyssa Becenti

Arlyssa Becenti reports on Navajo Nation Council and Office of the President and Vice President. Her clans are Nát'oh dine'é Táchii'nii, Bit'ahnii, Kin łichii'nii, Kiyaa'áanii. She’s originally from Fort Defiance and has a degree in English Literature from Arizona State University. Before working for the Navajo Times she was a reporter for the Gallup Independent. She can be reached at abecenti@navajotimes.com. Follow her on Twitter at @abecenti

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