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Nation may be nearing peak; 4,000th COVID case logged

WINDOW ROCK

Navajo Nation is now at 4,002 COVID-19 cases, an increase of 90 cases from Saturday. The number of deaths remains 140.

A total of 24,886 COVID-19 tests have been administered with 18,380 negative results. In March, health care experts projected that the Navajo Nation would see its peak in new cases in mid-May.

The approximately 544 recovered patients the Department of Health reports is probably low; only five of 12 IHS facilities are tracking recoveries. The DOH is encouraging all hospitals to report the number of recovered patients.

“The Navajo Nation is now engaged in large-scale testing and we are now testing at a greater rate than any other state in the country based on population,” stated Navajo President Jonathan Nez. “Without the weekend lockdowns that we’ve implemented based on advice from our health care experts, we would be seeing higher numbers.”

Throughout town halls that the executive branch have streamed Nez said about 80 percent of the Navajo Nation population is staying home, but the 20 percent who continue to venture out are still spreading the virus.

“The weekend lockdowns are working and the large majority of our citizens are complying, but we still have some who defy the lockdown order and for some reason they always receive the most attention,” stated Nez.

The Navajo Nation Health Command Operations Center implemented a Unified Command Group to support the incident command system. This UCG is supposed to provide a unified, coordinated, and interactive approach to the COVID-19 response efforts on the Navajo Nation, and helps to set priorities for the HCOC.

The unified command is a structure that brings together the incident commanders or leaders of the major agencies involved in the incident and provides a critical element in increasing the effectiveness of multi-jurisdictional incidents,” stated the NDOH. “As the spread of COVID-19 becomes more complex, the need for a unified command is critical in reducing the spread of COVID-19.”



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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