Biden signs disaster declaration to help Navajo Nation with COVID-19 response

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (AP) — Navajo Nation health officials on Wednesday reported 70 new COVID-19 cases and six more deaths. The latest numbers raised the totals to 28,544 cases and 1,038 known deaths since the pandemic began.

Tribal officials said they received word that U.S. President Joe Biden had signed a long-awaited major disaster declaration for the Navajo Nation.

It will provide more federal resources and prompts the release of federal funds for the reimbursement of emergency funds expended to address the COVID-19 pandemic on the Navajo Nation which covers parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah.

"With each day that passes, there is growing concern across the country and here on the Navajo Nation about the COVID-19 variants that are spreading," Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez said. "We are working with our public health experts to ensure that we test for the variants here on the Navajo Nation as well."

Officials released the latest cases organized by service unit:

  • Chinle Service Unit: 5,255
  • Crownpoint Service Unit: 2,784
  • Ft. Defiance Service Unit: 3,302
  • Gallup Service Unit: 4,515
  • Kayenta Service Unit: 2,571
  • Shiprock Service Unit: 4,895
  • Tuba City Service Unit: 3,393
  • Winslow Service Unit: 1,811
  • 18 residences are not specific enough to be placed in an accurate service unit

The Navajo Nation’s stay-at-home order lasts through at least Feb. 15. To read the latest public health emergency order, click here.