Updated: July 10, 2020 06:12 PM
Created: July 10, 2020 03:31 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- At one point during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Navajo Nation was the number one hot spot in the country.
Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez said they are testing at the highest rate per capita, and seeing a drop in cases. He contributes a change in the people's behavior following strict public health orders.
"They have accepted the 57-hour curfew, they're are normal, they have accepted wearing masks in public, washing hands and social distancing," Nez said.
The Navajo Nation has reported more than 8,000 cases and about 5,700 recoveries. The last time the nation reported triple digit daily cases was June 25.
Nez is worried about the impact the spike in surrounding states will have on the Navajo people, but he hopes tribal officials will be able to help out.
"There has been some lessons learned from what we went through on the Navajo Nation, so we can be a case study," Nez said.
The tribe has received over $700 million in funding from the Cares Act, which Nez wants to use to get a head of a possible next wave. He said he wants to focus on infrastructure development-- bringing running water and electricity to Navajo homes. He also wants to keep isolation campuses up and running.
"Put hand washing stations at our business, we're going to continue to mandate people to wear masks, for our government employees wear personal protective equipment," Nez said.
If cases continue on a downward trend, Nez said the Navajo Nation may start slowly reopen in phases starting July 27.
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