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Hopi Health Officials Report Most Known COVID-19 Infections Since July

Terry Eiler/U.S. National Archives

The Hopi Tribe is reporting its highest number of new known coronavirus cases since July. It comes as the pandemic has worsened in recent weeks throughout the country and on tribal lands. KNAU’s Ryan Heinsius reports.

According to the Hopi Department of Health and Human Services, the rate of new COVID cases on the reservation over the last week has been several times higher than averages statewide in Arizona and throughout the U.S.

About 9,000 people live in the 12 Hopi villages, and as of Monday the tribe had confirmed 68 new infections in the last 14 days. Case numbers began to rise in late October and by early November the tribe was experiencing major spikes.

According to data from health officials, a majority of the current COVID cases on Hopi are in the villages of Münqapi and Polacca. In all, more than 500 Hopi tribal members have tested positive since the pandemic began.

Earlier this month, Hopi leaders approved a stay-at-home order for the reservation, and they continue to urge residents to avoid groups and take other precautions to slow the spread.

Ryan Heinsius joined the KNAU newsroom as executive producer in 2013 and was named news director and managing editor in 2024. As a reporter, he has covered 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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