WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (ABC4) – On Wednesday, the Navajo Department of Health released a report saying 11 new COVID-19 cases and six deaths in the Navajo Nation.
The total number of deaths is now 1,463, including one death that was reported late, according to a statement from Navajo leadership. The report indicates that 32,735 individuals have recovered from COVID-19. A total of 346,255 COVID-19 tests have been administered.
The overall total number of positive COVID-19 cases is now 34,600, which includes 83 delayed reported cases from tNew Mexico and other healthcare facilities dating back to Oct. 4.
The breakdown of cases per state is as follows: Arizona reported 2,319 new cases, Utah reported 1,845 new cases, and New Mexico reported 709 new cases.
It was important for residents to push back against COVID-19 in the interest of lowering the number of cases, according to Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez.
“Numbers of new cases and deaths are much higher in regions and cities outside of the Navajo Nation,” he said. He advised residents to minimize their travel outside the area.
Nez also said contract tracers are finding new cases in people who gather in large groups and don’t wear masks.
Vice President Myron Lizer advised residents to get tested and isolate if they’ve come in contact with someone who is possibly infected.
A report from the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota shows a disproportionate amount of infections among Native Americans as opposed to caucasian people.
According to the report, Native Americans had COVID-19 infections occur at a rate 2.2 times higher and almost quadruple the death rate of Caucasian people in the state of Montana alone.
A research brief from the Kem Gardner Policy Institute at the University of Utah found that “COVID-19 is generally deadlier for older age groups, males, and racial and ethnic minorities.”
Despite Utah having a lower death rate overall compared to the national average, ethnic minorities still had a higher death rate than Caucasian people, according to the Gardner report.