WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. - Navajo Nation officials have distributed masks and hand sanitizers in the community of Shiprock, New Mexico to help keep local residents safe and healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Meanwhile Saturday, tribal health officials reported 330 new cases and four more deaths on the vast reservation that covers 27,000 square miles and extends into parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah.
On Jan. 21, the tribe had reported 500 new cases and two deaths.
The latest numbers pushed the tribe’s totals since the pandemic began to 47,959 cases with 1,607 known deaths.
"Our elders, our grandparents, always tell us that the safest place to be is at home and that remains true during this pandemic," Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez said Saturday in a statement. "Our elders also have the highest vaccination rate among any age group on the Navajo Nation.
"With over 87% of elders vaccinated for COVID-19, they are leading the way and setting a great example. Take precautions, wear two masks in public, get your booster shot, and limit travel as much as possible as this surge continues," Nez added.
Nez recently issued an executive order mandating all employees to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination booster shot by Monday.
In order to protect yourself from a possible infection, the CDC recommends:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- Monitor your health daily
Symptoms for coronavirus COVID-19 include fever, coughing, and shortness of breath. These, of course, are similar to the common cold and flu.
Expect a common cold to start out with a sore or scratchy throat, cough, runny and/or stuffy nose. Flu symptoms are more intense and usually come on suddenly, and can include a high fever.
Symptoms of COVID-19 may appear more slowly. They usually include fever, a dry cough and noticeable shortness of breath, according to the World Health Organization. A minority of cases develop pneumonia, and the disease is especially worrisome for the elderly and those with other medical problems such as high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes or heart conditions.
To protect yourself, wash your hands well and often, keep them away from your face, and avoid crowds and standing close to people.
And if you do find yourself showing any of these flu or coronavirus symptoms - don't go straight to your doctor's office. That just risks making more people sick, officials urge. Call ahead, and ask if you need to be seen and where.
More COVID-19 in Arizona news
- Arizona governor sues Biden administration to keep school anti-mask mandate rules
- Arizona Rep. Raul Grijalva tests positive for coronavirus
- Family of Banner Health nurse who came down with COVID-19 say they are concerned with new work policy
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