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Number of communities on Navajo Nation COVID-19 advisory continues to decline

Noel Lyn Smith
Farmington Daily Times

FARMINGTON — The Navajo Nation continues to see the number of communities on its health advisory notice for COVID-19 decline as efforts by Indian Health Service to vaccinate tribal members continue.

Shiprock and Upper Fruitland were the only communities from the Northern Agency in San Juan County on the advisory for uncontrolled spread of the virus.

The list is maintained by the Navajo Department of Health and was compiled based on the number of cases from Jan. 29 to Feb. 11.

Other communities in New Mexico are Baca-Prewitt, Chichiltah, Church Rock, Coyote Canyon, Crownpoint, Iyanbito, Rock Springs, Standing Rock, Tohatchi and Twin Lakes..

Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez shows his card for the COVID-19 vaccine on Dec. 31, 2020 after receiving the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine at Gallup Indian Medical Center in Gallup.

COVID-19 COVERAGE:New case totals dropping in New Mexico; infection rates fall in 24 counties

Communities that are outside the state are Birdsprings, Cameron, Chinle, Dennehotso, Ganado, Leupp, Nahata Dziil, Oak Springs, Round Rock, St. Michaels, Tachee-Blue Gap, Tsaile-Wheatfields and Tuba City.

"We've gone from 44 communities last week to 25 communities this week, identified as having uncontrolled spread of COVID-19. This is good news, but the risks of COVID-19 are still prevalent especially when people travel to border towns and hold in-person gatherings," President Jonathan Nez said in the Feb. 16 update.

Vaccine rollout continues in region

Northern Navajo Medical Center, Dzilth-Na-O-Dith-Hle Health Center and Four Corners Regional Health Center are providing COVID-19 vaccines to eligible individuals.

The Shiprock Indian Health Service Facebook page on Feb. 16 posted information on upcoming vaccine clinics for those who are patients of either facility and are 16 and over.

The eligibility age was lowered because the Shiprock Service Unit received a large shipment of the vaccine this week, the post states.

Vaccine clinics will take place at:

  • Upper Fruitland Chapter on Feb. 19, from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m.
  • Shiprock High School on Feb. 20, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Those seeking the vaccine are asked to bring identification, a pen and chart number.

COVID-19 UPDATES:Cases in northwest New Mexico and Navajo Nation

U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps personnel holds a syringe containing the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine on Dec. 31, 2020 at Gallup Indian Medical Center in Gallup.

The clinics are open to those who need to receive a second shot or booster dose. They must bring the immunization card that was given to them when they received the first shot.

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

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