Pandemic continues to impact county
As the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic stretches into seven weeks of social isolation, business restrictions, and health fears, there are continuing challenges that remain in San Juan County, particularly in the southern portion of the county.
In addition to the public health order for all county residents, Navajo Nation residents face severe restrictions, including stay-at-home orders and curfews. Restrictions in the Town of Bluff were approved on April 7 for 45 days and will continue in May.
The Navajo Nation has counted 1,769 cases of the virus. There have been 59 deaths on the reservation, including two residents of Navajo Mountain in San Juan County.
The impact of COVID-19 on the Navajo Nation is greater than any other state except New York and New Jersey.
While funds have been set aside by the federal government to aid in recovery from the pandemic, the delivery has been slow and must be divided between the hundreds of Native American tribes across the nation.
The Navajo Nation has filed a lawsuit against the federal government in an attempt to speed or increase the funding.
At the April 21 meeting of the San Juan County Commission, Commissioner Kenneth Maryboy explained, “It seems like everyone else has their hands in that particular funding. Littler tribes seem to get more, and the Navajo Nation gets very little.”
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The Utah Department of Health Mobile Testing Unit is scheduled to offer free testing at the UNHS clinic in Montezuma Creek on Thursday and Friday.
The unit previously tested more than 1,000 people over four days in mid-April at Navajo Mountain and Monument Valley.
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The State of Utah seems poised to begin lifting some restrictions. Elective surgeries are now authorized and additional changes are anticipated as soon as this weekend.
The San Juan Public Health Department reports that 45 county residents have been confirmed with the virus, with five hospitalizations and two deaths.
Confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Navajo Mountain, Monument Valley/Oljato, Bluff, Montezuma Creek/Aneth, and Blanding.
In surrounding areas, the Southeast Utah District Health Department (Grand, Carbon, and Emery counties) has reported 11 cases.
There have been zero cases in Dolores County, CO (Dove Creek), and 15 cases in Montezuma County, CO (Cortez) with two deaths.
San Juan County, NM (Farmington) has reported 463 COVID-19 cases with 35 deaths.