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Two Sisters On The Navajo Nation Die Days Apart From COVID-19

Courtesy of Thinn family

Two sisters on the Navajo Nation died days apart from each other from the coronavirus last month. Each had worked for years in public service to the tribe. KNAU’s Ryan Heinsius reports.

The Navajo Council Speaker’s office says the sisters were heroes and called on the tribe to honor their service. Cheryl Thinn served as a juvenile detention officer, emergency medical service member and healthcare employee in Tuba City.

Credit Courtesy of Thinn family
Cheryl Thinn and her son. She and her sister Corrina each served as public servants on the Navajo Nation and both died in April from coronavirus.

A short time after her death officials report the death of her sister, Corrina Thinn, also from COVID-19. She was a Navajo Nation police officer for 11 years and then worked in healthcare and social work for the Navajo Nation and other tribes.

Cheryl Thinn is survived by her son, Corrina Thinn by two sons, a grandson and a granddaughter.

A Go Fund Me site has been set up to support funeral arrangements.

The disease has taken a heavy toll on the Navajo Nation with the number per-capita cases rivaling the hardest-hit states like New York and New Jersey.

Ryan Heinsius was named interim news director and managing editor in January 2024. He joined KNAU's newsroom as an executive producer in 2013. He covers a broad range of stories from local, state and tribal politics to education, economy, energy and public lands issues, and frequently interviews internationally known and regional musicians. Ryan is an Edward R. Murrow Award winner and a Public Media Journalists Association Award winner, and a frequent contributor to NPR's Morning Edition, All Things Considered and national newscast.
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