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Navajo Nation passes peak virus hospitalizations sooner than expected

(Facebook Screenshot/Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer)

PHOENIX — Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez announced on Tuesday that the surge peak for Indian Health Service coronavirus hospitalizations occurred a month sooner than initially anticipated.

During an online town hall, the Navajo Nation leader cited new data provided by the Navajo Area Indian Health Service which indicated peak virus-related IHS hospitalizations, ICU admissions and ventilations occurred from April 21 to April 26, according to a press release.

An initial surge projection on March 27 showed that with 30% of Navajo Nation members practicing social distancing, the surge peak was expected to begin the week of May 24.

“Our administration took decisive actions to ensure the safety of our Navajo people and our communities,” Nez said at the town hall.

“We issued travel restrictions, reduced the operation of Navajo governments, closed schools, required masks to be worn, and issued orders to stay home and save lives … The updated surge report shows us that the anticipated numbers of Navajo people needing hospitalization … did not materialize.”

On Monday, the Navajo Nation reported an increase of 48 confirmed coronavirus cases and a total death count of 158.

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