Navajo Nation COVID-19 Response

PUBLIC HEALTH | 2020-2021

What was the COVID-19 situation on Navajo Nation in 2020-21?

COVID-19 has devastated Indigenous communities in the American Southwest, resulting in thousands of deaths and loss of income for countless families. Widespread lack of infrastructure, including clean water, electricity, and shelter, has increased Indigenous people’s vulnerability to illness, particularly cherished elders. 

 

In the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, Navajo Nation held some of the highest case positivity and death rates in the world.

 

How did CORE help on Navajo Nation during the COVID-19 pandemic? 

CORE worked alongside the local Navajo Nation government to provide crucial COVID-19 relief across the reservation. With our partners, we built a multi-pronged program that focused on testing, community outreach, distributing hygiene kits, providing access to sustainable clean drinking water, and building shielding shelters.

How did CORE help protect vulnerable people from COVID-19 on Navajo Nation? 

Many Diné households are multigenerational and overcrowded, which makes social distancing or safely isolating vulnerable family members, including cherished elders, virtually impossible. To help proactively protect elders and vulnerable people, CORE implemented a shelter program based on a public health strategy first published by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, which has been adopted in refugee and urban settings around the world as a preventative mechanism for curbing the spread of COVID-19.

What impact did CORE’s partnered COVID-19 relief efforts have on Navajo Nation? 

Despite the high concentration of cases early in the pandemic, together with the Navajo Nation’s bold leadership and approach focused on vaccines, testing, tracing, masks, distancing, isolation, and wraparound services, our partnered efforts helped flatten the curve and slow the rapid spread of COVID-19 that devastated the Navajo Nation.

341

shielding shelters built

55,000

hygiene kits distributed

62,000

tests administered

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