Navajo Nation's health advisory for COVID-19 infections in communities sees jump this week

Noel Lyn Smith
Farmington Daily Times

FARMINGTON — More than 60 communities on the Navajo Nation have landed on a health advisory notice the Navajo Department of Health issued because of uncontrolled transmission of COVID-19.

The department released the notice on Nov. 22 that identified 67 communities, including 10 from the Northern Agency in San Juan County.

Gadii'ahi, Hogback, Naschitti, Nenahnezad, Newcomb, Sanostee, Sheep Springs, Shiprock, Two Grey Hills and Upper Fruitland are on the list, which department officials determined based on the number of cases from Nov. 5 to Nov. 18.

Other New Mexico communities under advisory are Baca-Prewitt, Becenti, Casamero Lake, Chichiltah, Church Rock, Counselor, Coyote Canyon, Crownpoint, Iyanbito, Littlewater, Mexican Springs, Nageezi, Nahodishgish, Pinedale, Rock Springs, Thoreau, Tóhajiilee, Tohatchi, Torreon, Tsayatoh, Twin Lakes, Whitehorse Lake and White Rock.

Communities in Arizona or in Utah are Aneth, Birdsprings, Black Mesa, Bodaway-Gap, Cameron, Chilchinbeto, Chinle, Ganado, Hardrock, Houck, Indian Wells, Inscription House, Jeddito, Kaibeto, Kayenta, LeChee, Leupp, Many Farms, Mexican Water, Oak Springs, Piñon, Red Valley, Rock Point, Round Rock, Shonto, St. Michaels, Tachee-Blue Gap, Teec Nos Pos, Teesto, Tonalea, Tsaile-Wheatfields, Tselani-Cottonwood, Tuba City and Whippoorwill.

Vehicles form a line at a COVID-19 testing location on May 5, 2020 at Shiprock High School. The school in Shiprock has served as testing and vaccination sites throughout the pandemic.

"This week, we see an increase from 55 to 67 communities identified as having uncontrolled spread of COVID-19. As we get closer to the holidays, we have to be very careful, take precautions, wear masks in public, get fully vaccinated, and limit social gatherings," tribal President Jonathan Nez said in the news release that included the weekly advisory.

He added that the COVID-19 vaccine is available from health care facilities across the tribal land.

"We all have to do our part to push back on COVID-19," Nez said.

Northern Navajo Medical Center in Shiprock continues to hold vaccination events for flu shots and the COVID-19 vaccine every Sunday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Shiprock High School.

The hospital has also teamed with the Central Consolidated School District and the Bureau of Indian Education to vaccinate children ages 5-11 at schools operated by either entity.

The following clinics will happen in December:

  • Ojo Amarillo Elementary School on Dec. 1, from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • Newcomb Elementary School on Dec. 2, from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m.
  • Tohaali Community School on Dec. 8, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
  • Naschitti Elementary School on Dec. 8, from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • Kirtland Middle School on Dec. 10, from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • Mesa Elementary School on Dec. 14, from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • Nizhoni Elementary School on Dec. 15, from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

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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