Navajo Nation To Receive Rapid Coronavirus Test Kits

Published: Monday, April 13, 2020 - 7:53pm
Updated: Monday, April 13, 2020 - 7:56pm
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The number of coronavirus cases on the Navajo Nation jumped 17% over the weekend.

There are 698 Navajos who tested positive for COVID-19 and 24 people have died. On some maps, it's viewed as one of the top hotspots in the country.

The tribe is expecting rapid test kits that give results within minutes rather than days. Navajo president Jonathan Nez says quicker results likely will reveal an even higher number of positive cases, but then the tribe will be able to mitigate much faster.

Cases are multiplying rapidly on the Navajo Nation for many reasons. As much as 40% of the tribe doesn't have running water, so frequently washing hands is a problem.

More than 500 abandoned uranium mines have had a big impact on the tribe's health. There are high rates of diabetes, cancer and other conditions that compromise their immune systems. The tribe lacks health care workers, hospital beds and equipment to deal with the crisis.

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