Navajo Country: COVID-19 Cases Trend Down, but Need Still High

Hi, I'm Elizabeth.

Editor’s Note: This story was originally published online August 12, 2020 on MedPage Today.

Everyone on the Navajo Nation reservation knows someone who has been infected with COVID-19.

At least that’s what it feels like to Melissa Begay, MD, a Navajo pulmonary medicine physician at the University of New Mexico (UNM) Hospital who treats patients airlifted from the reservation. There, it is still common for multiple family members to occupy adjoining rooms in the ICU. She has never seen so many tribal members at the hospital, she said.

Begay has lost three relatives herself.

“You feel mentally exhausted from the news of someone passing,” Begay toldMedPage Today.”Each week, it’s someone you know — a friend, a relative, a tribal official, or one of the frontline responders. That news has not gone away since March.”

The Navajo Nationdominated headlines in Mayfor having a higher infection rate per…

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