Despite Being No. 1, Navajo Curve Is Flattening

By Laurel Morales, Mark Brodie
Published: Thursday, May 14, 2020 - 3:10pm
Updated: Friday, May 15, 2020 - 10:37am

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The Navajo Nation Indian Health Service has three large hospitals with about 200 beds, so the tribe has relied on hospitals in Albuquerque, Flagstaff and Phoenix.

Even though the Navajo Nation has the highest rate of coronavirus cases in the country per capita, health officials said the stay-at-home orders are working. 

Indian Health Service Chief Medical Officer Loretta Christensen said the Navajo Nation is still seeing about a hundred positive cases a day.

“I will say the ascent of the curve has definitely flattened,” Christensen said. “We are still getting cases across the area but not at the velocity that we were prior.”

Christensen expects the Navajo Nation to hit its peak in the next two weeks. Her biggest concern is the reservation’s capacity for patients, so the tribe is still relying on hospitals in Albuquerque, Flagstaff and Phoenix. 

Navajo President Jonathan Nez said 80% of the tribe is complying with mandatory curfews.

“I know we’re getting frustrated because of that 20% who's not listening or abiding by authority,” Nez said to a Facebook Live Town Hall. “Lets all stay home for our ancestors who got us to this point not just for ourselves but for each other.”

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