Navajo Nation Now Second In Coronavirus Infection Rate

Published: Monday, May 11, 2020 - 11:20am
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Navajo Nation Office of the President
Navajo President Jonathan Nez at a press conference in May 2020.

If the Navajo Nation were a state, it would have the highest rate of coronavirus cases per capita after New York. At least 100 people have died from the virus and 3,122 people have tested positive. 

Navajo President Jonathan Nez said two of the biggest challenges they face are ensuring hand washing and isolating those who are infected. Even though the population is spread out on the rural reservation, multiple generations live under the same roof and many must haul their water from several miles away.

“Over 30% of our Navajo people don't have running water,” Nez said to a Facebook Live event Friday. “If there is a second surge or any future pandemics we need to prepare for that.”

The tribe recently received about $600 million of federal relief funds. But Nez said it would take at least $1 billion to build water systems for those without plumbing.

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