SEVERE WX : Red Flag Warning View Alerts

Navajo Nation surpasses New York state for the highest Covid-19 infection rate in the US

The Navajo Nation has surpassed New York and New Jersey for the highest per-capita coronavirus infe...

Posted: May 18, 2020 5:01 PM
Updated: May 18, 2020 5:01 PM

The Navajo Nation has surpassed New York and New Jersey for the highest per-capita coronavirus infection rate in the US -- another sign of Covid-19's disproportionate impact on minority communities.

The Navajo Nation, which spans parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah, reported a population of 173,667 on the 2010 census. As a result, with 4,002 cases, the Native American territory has 2,304.41 cases of Covid-19 per 100,000 people.

By contrast, New York state now has a rate of 1,806 cases per 100,000 and New Jersey is at 1,668 cases per 100,000, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez told CNN's Sara Sidner of its rate on the "Situation Room" Sunday night.

The nation has one of the strictest stay-at-home orders in the country, mandating that residents not leave their homes unless there is an emergency or they are essential workers.

Even those who leave home for work must have documentation on company letterhead with a verifiable contact number for a manager in order to go.

For the last few months the nation has been on weekend lockdowns to prevent members from being out and risking infection but case numbers have continued to rise.

Other minority groups also have been hard hit by the coronavirus.

Of the 39 states and the District of Columbia reporting the race and ethnicity of residents who have died of Covid-19, African Americans make up about 13% of the population in those places but 27% of Covid-19 deaths, according to an analysis from the American Public Media (APM) Research Lab.

In California, Latinos make 53% of the state's cases, despite making up the 39% of the state's population, according to California Department of Public Health data.

Spike in cases

Nez said there has been a huge spike in cases among the population, resulting in 140 deaths for the entire nation as of this weekend.

A press release from the Navajo Nation issued Saturday said that experts projected cases would peak in their population in mid-May.

Part of the reason for the spike is increased testing capacity, Nez said. More than 23,791 members, or 11% of the population of the Navajo Nation, has been tested for the virus.

Multiple reasons for increased spread

Another reason for the large number of cases is that multiple generations live in one home, Nez said.

"When one person gets Covid, goes home, they turn to infect the rest of the family," Nez said.

Additionally, 30% to 40% of residents do not have running water, Nez said. That prevents everyone from being able to wash their hands as often as recommended.

Another challenge: the nation is a "food desert," which means that more people are at the few grocery stores, convenience stores and gas stations to purchase food, Nez said.

"When we run out of food or supplies we have to go to the stores and there is a lot of people there and I believe...the spread is happening there as well as at home," Nez said.

In a Saturday press release, Nez urged residents to continue to stay in lockdown as much as possible and maintain good hygiene practices.

"With every passing day, we are a day closer to beating COVID-19. Whether we realize it or not we are winning the war on this virus," Nez said in the press release. "We have to stay the course when it comes to staying home as much as possible, wearing masks in public, washing our hands often, and taking every precaution to ensure our health and safety especially for our elders and children."

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 206851

Reported Deaths: 2756
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah40371614
Washington26781248
Marion23425323
Clackamas18932235
Lane13908164
Jackson11535146
Deschutes1001882
Umatilla859387
Linn561181
Yamhill478279
Klamath477678
Polk399356
Douglas388483
Malheur361463
Josephine360672
Benton326522
Jefferson237039
Coos216637
Columbia192129
Union149924
Wasco144430
Lincoln143021
Crook129223
Hood River121633
Morrow115416
Clatsop10589
Baker101115
Curry71011
Tillamook6604
Grant5507
Lake4678
Harney4339
Wallowa1945
Gilliam801
Sherman671
Wheeler351
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 3809710

Reported Deaths: 63356
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles124774424456
Riverside3016684627
San Bernardino2992894845
San Diego2818103771
Orange2730575113
Santa Clara1201632188
Kern1107991404
Sacramento1078211736
Fresno1029471724
Alameda896591277
Ventura816611031
San Joaquin747271440
Contra Costa70730813
Stanislaus634971070
Tulare49776849
Monterey43836432
San Mateo42681581
San Francisco37269556
Santa Barbara34613455
Solano33762266
Merced32313478
Sonoma30884317
Imperial28855741
Placer23589299
Kings23195247
San Luis Obispo21421261
Madera16638245
Santa Cruz16246208
Marin14206230
Yolo14160212
Butte12668194
Shasta12630233
El Dorado10396116
Napa1002680
Sutter9663113
Yuba648951
San Benito610963
Lassen578424
Tehama573463
Nevada491975
Humboldt449948
Mendocino434050
Tuolumne421271
Amador374047
Lake356345
Glenn243427
Siskiyou239637
Colusa228418
Calaveras220756
Del Norte14588
Inyo143438
Mono12954
Plumas7366
Modoc5585
Mariposa4657
Trinity4225
Sierra1160
Alpine890
Unassigned280
Medford
Partly Cloudy
97° wxIcon
Hi: 95° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 93°
Brookings
Partly Cloudy
55° wxIcon
Hi: 71° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 55°
Crater Lake
Partly Cloudy
97° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 93°
Grants Pass
Partly Cloudy
97° wxIcon
Hi: 96° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 93°
Klamath Falls
Partly Cloudy
87° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 84°
Numerous Tuesday Thunderstorms
KDRV Radar
KDRV Fire Danger
KDRV Weather Cam

Community Events