Health experts do not believe Navajo Nation has reached its COVID-19 peak | KOB 4

Health experts do not believe Navajo Nation has reached its COVID-19 peak

Nathan O’Neal
Created: May 14, 2020 06:56 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- Health experts believe the Navajo Nation will hit its COVID-19 peak within the next two weeks. 

"I sense that the curve has definitely flattened – we are still getting cases across the area but not at quite the velocity that we were prior, but I do anticipate having increased cases over the next two weeks," said Dr. Loretta Christensen, Navajo Area chief medical officer at the Indian Health Service.

Of all the COVID-19 cases tracked nationwide by the Indian Health Service, 61% of cases are on the Navajo Nation.

"Multi-generational homes are very big challenge for us, and we knew this before COVID really got going here," Dr. Christensen said.

Now, IHS is working to further isolate possibly sick patients, giving them a place to stay instead of sending them home with the virus.

"I'm happy to report that our patient mobilization team has opened their call center, and we are referring people to isolation sites throughout the Navajo area where they can stay for 10 to 14 days and not worry about bringing the COVID virus home to their families, and they will be taken care of with amenities, wellness check, food and any other things they need to stay safe," Dr. Christensen said.

Dr. Christensen said they have also started to treat sick patients with an experimental anti-viral drug.

"We are starting our protocols with remdesivir with our patients and so far that is going well, and our sites have plans that they are following across Navajo," she said.

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