COVID-19 Infections Continue To Soar On Navajo Nation

By Katherine Davis-Young
Published: Monday, November 23, 2020 - 2:52pm

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covid-19 cases on the Navajo Nation Nov. 22, 2020
Navajo Nation
COVID-19 cases on the Navajo Nation Nov. 22, 2020

The Navajo Nation was hard-hit with COVID-19 cases early in the pandemic. But recent cases have far surpassed the reservation’s spring peak. A record 383 new cases were reported Sunday.

The Navajo Nation extends from northeastern Arizona into Utah and New Mexico. It is under a strict lockdown until at least Dec. 6. Most businesses on the reservation must close by 3 p.m. each day. In a town hall video Sunday, Navajo Nation president Jonathan Nez pleaded for patience and cooperation.

“We can do this, we’ve gone through some tougher times in our history and we overcame. Here is the time for all of us to come together as one," Nez said.

Nez is asking Navajo Nation residents to avoid social gatherings and limit travel off the reservation.

“Please, Gallup is high numbers, all these border towns are high numbers. They don’t have handwashing stations or temperature checks, things like that, but here on Navajo we do,” he said. 

More than 600 Navajos have died from COVID-19. That makes the rate of death on the Nation more than four times higher than in the state of Arizona as a percentage of population size.