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Navajo Nation passed peak demand on COVID-19 health care resources in April, president says

Posted by   /  May 27, 2020  /  No Comments

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Academy Award-winning actor Sean Penn and his disaster relief organization CORE visited the Navajo Nation during the COVID-19 pandemic. /YouTube

By John D’Anna | Arizona Republic 

The Navajo Nation, one of the hardest-hit areas of the country in terms of per-capita COVID-19 cases, passed peak demand on its health care system earlier than projections indicated, President Jonathan Nez said Tuesday.

Speaking in a Facebook Live town hall, Nez said the latest epidemiology reports indicate that despite projections initially showing the Navajo Nation would hit its peak around mid-May or later, it actually peaked around the last week of April. Nez announced Monday that the Navajo Nation was “flattening the curve.”

“The Navajo area Indian Health Service gave us a projection at the start of this pandemic that the Navajo Nation would reach its full capacity of COVID-positive emergencies — that means emergency beds, people getting flown out, emergency room visits at the max, by mid-May,” Nez said. “We reached our peak of ER visits and full capacity of our healthcare facilities here on Navajo around April 24-25, a whole month ago.”

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