NAVAJO NATION OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT AND VICE PRESIDENT PRESS RELEASE March 17, 2020
Second member of the Navajo Nation tests positive for COVID-19 coronavirus
WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. – Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer were informed by the Navajo Department of Health on late Tuesday afternoon of a second member of the Navajo Nation who tested positive for the COVID-19 coronavirus. The second individual is a middle-age male from the same region as the first person who tested positive within the Kayenta IHS Service Area.
The second individual also had recent travel history and reported their symptoms to the Kayenta Health Center and was taken to a hospital off the Nation for testing. Health and emergency officials are taking the proper precautions to screen and isolate the person’s family members. Officials are in the process of determining the extent of the relation of the two cases.
President Nez and Vice President Lizer made the initial announcement live on KTNN AM 660 and 101.5 FM on Tuesday afternoon. A press conference will also be live-streamed on Wednesday, March 18 at 10:00 a.m. (DST) where health experts will provide more information.
The Navajo Nation is in the process of deploying a mobile Incident Command Post to the impacted region on Tuesday, and the Navajo Nation COVID-19 Preparedness Team continues to monitor and take proactive measures to prevent the continued spread of the virus.
“We call upon our Navajo people to stay home and remain calm to prevent the spread of the virus among our communities. We also ask the public to be vigilant and respectful of first responders, health care workers, and emergency management officials who are responding to these cases. Please continue to pray for these individuals, their families, and all of the people of our Nation as we get through this together,” said President Nez.
In order to provide more resources, President Nez and Vice President Lizer continue to communicate with members of Congress to secure more federal funding and to gain support for efforts of our emergency operations and the health care professionals.
“We are taking all proper actions at this time. Through the power of prayer, we will overcome this pandemic as our ancestors did. While the situation may be alarming, we understand that there are many people who are recovering from the virus so we should remain positive in our thoughts and prayers,” added Vice President Lizer.
On Tuesday, the Navajo Agricultural Products Industry contributed $1 million to help the Navajo Nation address the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus.
President Nez and Vice President Lizer extend their appreciation to all of the Health Command Operations Center officials, health care workers, emergency personnel, doctors, nurses, and all first responders for working hard to protect the Navajo people.
Questions from the public may be directed to the Navajo Health Command Operations Center at (928) 871-7014. If a person has symptoms related to the COVID-19 virus, please contact your local health care center prior to your arrival to a hospital facility:
Chinle Comprehensive Health Care Facility
Crownpoint Health Care Facility
Fort Defiance Indian Hospital Board, INC
Gallup Indian Medical Center
Kayenta Health Center
Northern Navajo Medical Center
Tuba City Regional Health Care
Utah Navajo Health System
Winslow Indian Health Care Center
Arizona Poison and Drug Information Center
New Mexico Coronavirus Hotline
ARIZONA NAVAJO COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH PRESS RELEASE for Immediate Release: March 17, 2020
Office: (928) 532-6050
Navajo County Public Health Officials Announce Presumptive COVID-19 Case in Navajo County
SHOW LOW – The Navajo County Public Health Department, the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) and the Navajo Nation announced today that a Navajo County resident has been diagnosed with COVID-19, the disease caused by the 2019 novel coronavirus.
The patient is a resident of Navajo County. Navajo County Public Health Services District (NCPHSD) in collaboration with Navajo Nation staff are currently investigating the case, as well as any close contacts that may have been exposed while this individual was infectious. Any individuals who have been identified as having been exposed will be contacted directly by public health officials. If you have not been contacted by public health officials, your risk of exposure is extremely limited. These individuals will be monitored for fever and respiratory symptoms in collaboration with Navajo County Public Health and medical providers.
NCPHSD has been collaborating with healthcare organizations and community partners for several weeks in preparation for such an event. “We encourage the public to stay calm, stay up-to-date with recommendations, and do their best to help slow the spread. We ask that everyone routinely check the CoVid-19 dashboard for the most recent information,” said Jeffrey Lee, Director of the Navajo County Public Health Department. “We know that most people who have gotten COVID-19 experience mild symptoms and we ask that you please stay home if you are sick. Those most at risk for developing severe complications from COVID-19 are older adults and those with existing chronic health conditions.”
COVID-19 spreads through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Symptoms are thought to appear within 2 to 14 days after exposure and consist of fever, cough, runny nose, or difficulty breathing. Those considered at highest risk for contracting the virus are individuals with travel to an area where the virus is spreading, or individuals in close contact with a person who is diagnosed as having COVID-19. Public health officials are working diligently to monitor and address the situation.
Public health officials are advising residents that flu and other respiratory diseases are circulating in the community and are recommending everyone get a flu shot and follow basic prevention guidelines.
ADHS and NCPHSD expect additional cases of COVID-19 in Arizona in and are advising residents to follow infection prevention guidelines. The best ways to prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including COVID-19 are to:
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, mouth and face; especially with unwashed hands
Avoid Shaking Hands
Stay home when you are sick
Avoid close contact with people who are sick
Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then immediately throw the tissue in the trash. If a tissue is not available cover your cough with your sleeve by coughing into your elbow.
Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
Utilize telemedicine if available or call the healthcare facility prior to arrival
If you have recently traveled to an area where COVID-19 is circulating and have developed fever with cough or shortness of breath within 14 days of your travel or have had contact with someone who is suspected to have 2019 novel coronavirus, please stay home. Most people with COVID-19 develop mild symptoms. If you have mild symptoms, please do not seek medical care, but do stay home and practice social distancing from others in the household if possible. If shortness of breath or other symptoms begin to escalate, call your healthcare provider. If you do not have a healthcare provider, you may need to be seen at your local hospital emergency room or urgent care center. Please call the emergency room or urgent care center for instructions before going in.
For the latest information about COVID-19, visit www.navajocountyaz.gov/coronavirus