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Native American leaders describe challenges in controlling spread of COVID-19

Navajo Nat. allows voting after ballot shortage
Posted at 7:50 PM, Apr 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-30 23:02:07-04

TUCSON, Ariz. — The Native American community has been one segment of Arizona's population most significantly impacted by COVID-19 -- the Navajo Nation alone has seen close to 2,000 cases.

Indian Health Services held a conference call Thursday to talk about how the agency and nations are slowing the spread.

Loretta Christensen, a health representative for the Navajo Nation, said the community has accepted and embraced social distancing and doing the best they can, with some limitations.

"The issue is the social distancing is challenging in our area," she said. "You know we're encouraging hand washing and good hygiene, and we have 30% of homes that unfortunately don't have running water. We are asking social distancing and we have multi generational families all living in the same house."

Leaders say they are looking to see if underlying health conditions play a role in the spread of COVID-19.