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Hopi COVID-19 Surge Could Soon Exceed Record Summer Infections

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to sweep through the Hopi villages at an alarming rate. Health officials worry the high numbers of infections could overwhelm the reservation’s limited medical facilities. KNAU’s Ryan Heinsius reports.

Hopi officials say for the first time since June the tribe’s seven-day moving average of new daily cases has topped 15. That suggests the current surge could soon exceed the summer spike, which resulted in record levels of infections on the reservation.

All 12 Hopi villages have widespread COVID transmission. Health officials with the tribe have reported 84 cases in the last week and more than 150 in the last 14 days.

In all, nearly 700 members of the 9,000-person tribe have tested positive since the beginning of the pandemic.

Initial doses of the Pfizer vaccine were administered to medical workers at the Hopi Health Care Center last week, and the tribe expects to soon receive about 400 doses of the newly approved Moderna vaccine.

A stay-at-home directive remains in effect on Hopi urging residents to avoid off-reservation travel.

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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