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SHIPROCK — Hundreds of people showed up at the free testing site for COVID-19 sponsored by the New Mexico Department of Health and the National Guard on May 5 at Shiprock High School.

Vehicles formed a line that curved throughout the parking lot outside the Chieftain Pit on May 5.

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This was the first free testing site arranged by the state health department on the Navajo Nation and was requested by the Navajo Health Command Operations Center to increase testing for tribal members and non-tribal members.

The number of people who have tested positive for COVID-19 and live on the reservation is 2,474 as of May 4, according to figures released by the Navajo Department of Health, Navajo Area Indian Health Service and Navajo Epidemiology Center.

Tuesday was the second day medical professionals from the guard, Northern Navajo Medical Center and San Juan County Public Health Office collected samples.

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Monday saw 430 samples collected on the first day for the testing site, according to state health department personnel.

The next testing site organized by the department and the guard will start at 9 a.m. on May 6 and May 7 at Navajo Technical University in Crownpoint.


A new projection shows that nearly 135,000 Americans could die from COVID-19 by August. Wochit

Noel Lyn Smith covers the Navajo Nation for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4636 or by email at

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