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Hopi COVID-19 Infections Approach All-Time High Amid Surge

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The Hopi Tribe continues to see a major uptick in COVID-19 infections. Health officials worry case numbers could soon reach their highest point to-date during the pandemic. KNAU’s Ryan Heinsius reports.

Hopi health officials say the current surge is similar to the high point of infections the 9,000-person tribe experienced in June and July. Hopi has reported 85 new known cases in the last two weeks, which is several times the national average for new infections.

Hopi COVID-19 epidemiologist David White says the virus is widespread throughout all 12 Hopi villages, and unless further prevention measures are implemented case rates could soon reach record highs. White worries about what he calls a “spike on top of a spike,” and says behavior toward COVID must change on the reservation to avoid a crisis.

White says he and other health officials are still waiting to see how many new cases may have resulted from Thanksgiving travel, and is urging people to stay home during the Christmas holiday.

Ryan joined KNAU's newsroom 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 frequent contributor to NPR.
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