Tuesday, September 26, 2023

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McKinley County confirms first coronavirus case

Graphic courtesy of CDC
This illustration from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reveals ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses. A novel coronavirus, named Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), was identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China, in 2019. The illness caused by this virus has been named coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).


McKinley County has its first confirmed COVID-19 case.

According to a source familiar with the case, Emergency Management Coordinator Adam Berry at McKinley County, in an email, confirmed that the county had its first positive case.

McKinley County Manager Anthony Dimas Jr. said the New Mexico Department of Health notified the county and only said the person was a “male in (his) thirties.” Dimas said because of HIPAA laws, no other information was provided.

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On late Thursday night, the Office of the President and Vice President relayed a statement that 11 more Navajo citizens tested positive, bringing the total to 14. The Navajo Health Command Operations Center issued a Public Health Emergency Order for Chilchinbeto, Arizona, which had the most cases. Reportedly, community members are prevented from leaving or entering, and non-community members are prevented from entering.

The public health emergency order requires residents to remain in their homes. Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez stated in a news release he may apply the order to the entire Navajo Nation if the virus outbreak becomes more widespread.

Dimas said he asked NMDOH for more information about the man, so that the county could better prepare for a possible outbreak.Â

“We just don’t know,” he said.

According to the NMDOH, 3,814 citizens were tested and out of that, 43 tested positive. In Arizona, 343 citizens were tested, with 44 testing positive.

About The Author

Donovan Quintero

"Dii, Diné bi Naaltsoos wolyéhíígíí, ninaaltsoos át'é. Nihi cheii dóó nihi másání ádaaní: Nihi Diné Bizaad bił ninhi't'eelyá áádóó t'áá háadida nihizaad nihił ch'aawóle'lágo. Nihi bee haz'áanii at'é, nihisin at'é, nihi hózhǫ́ǫ́jí at'é, nihi 'ach'ą́ą́h naagééh at'é. Dilkǫǫho saad bee yájíłti', k'ídahoneezláo saad bee yájíłti', ą́ą́ chánahgo saad bee yájíłti', diits'a'go saad bee yájíłti', nabik'íyájíłti' baa yájíłti', bich'į' yájíłti', hach'į' yándaałti', diné k'ehgo bik'izhdiitįįh. This is the belief I do my best to follow when I am writing Diné-related stories and photographing our events, games and news. Ahxéhee', shik'éí dóó shidine'é." - Donovan Quintero, an award-winning Diné journalist, served as a photographer, reporter and as assistant editor of the Navajo Times until March 17, 2023.


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