by Meteor Staff
Tuesday, April 14, 4:20 PM, MST
Updated 2 PM Wednesday April 15
Flagstaff St. Mary’s Food Bank delivered three semi-truck loads of food boxes this morning to the struggling Navajo Nation in Arizona. Coconino County Health and Human Services released new sets of statistics Tuesday night. CCHHS reported 24 deaths, 259 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 73 tests pending and 909 negative tests to date.
The Navajo Nation has been hard hit by the outbreak. In a news story this morning Brenda Norrell reports in Censored News that the Navajo Nation’s Navajo Department of Health and Navajo Area Indian Health Service reported last night that Dinétah is home to 838 people fighting the virus and 33 confirmed deaths.
As of early this afternoon, across Arizona there are 3,806 cases and 131 Arizona deaths according to a report from the CDC Sunday morning (4/12). That is 136 more cases from yesterday, a 4% increase overnight.
Coconino County health officials reported Monday night that there are 44 cases in the Flagstaff metropolitan area, 146 cases distributed among the Tribal communities across the county, Page reports 44 cases caused by the coronavirus that causes the COVID-19 illness contributing to the total Coconino count of 236 countywide cases.
Deaths are overwhelming over age 65. Of the state’s 146 deaths, at least 82 have been in this age category.
“Native Americans, older people and men are dying in disproportionate numbers in Arizona from COVID-19”, according to new data released by the state’s health department Sunday.
The Navajo Nation is facing one of the fastest growing rates of new cases testing positive in the U.S. This weekend has seen an increase of 101 new cases just since Friday (4/10). Yeasterdays report of 813 cases is almost double the case load of 426 since last Wednesday, (April 8). See earlier Meteor story…
Native Americans make up 16% of those who have died from COVID-19, among the cases for which race and ethnicity are known, according to data released by the Arizona Department of Health Services. The American Community Survey’s 5-year estimates show about 4% of Arizonans are American Indian or Alaska Native.
But the data is incomplete. Race is unknown for 63% of the coronavirus cases and 48% of deaths.
Many residents began lining up at 7am this morning for distribution of food boxes that began at 11am and ended at 2pm. St. Mary’s Food Bank provided approximately 2,000 food boxes.
“Thank you to the Tuba City Chapter and their Strike Team, St. Mary’s Food Bank, Coconino County officials, Navajo Police and EMS, Division of Community Development Executive Director Dr. Pearl Yellowman, and many others for providing this service for our Navajo people during the COVID-19 pandemic. Great job! Ahe’hee’” Nez said in a joint statement with Navajo Nation Vice-President Myron Lizer on Tuesday.
Nez added, “Stay Home, Stay Safe, Save Lives!”
Nez said Monday, “It’s very saddening to receive the new numbers each day. There are a lot of grieving families and there is a lot of work yet to be done. It’s our time to rise to the challenge and keep pushing forward for our people and to honor those who have lost their lives to this virus. We will not give up. We saw good results with the 57-hour curfew this past weekend and we are considering a similar curfew once again to help decrease the spread. Our police officers did a great job!”
As experience grows and time marches forward the numbers begin to tell a story. The County’s reporting around the impacts of COVID-19 is becoming more sophisticated as more numbers roll in.