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Hopi COVID-19 Cases Begin To Flatten Following Holiday Surge


Hopi leaders are optimistic as the tribe reports a slight flattening of COVID-19 cases. It follows a major fall and winter surge that saw infections on the reservation reach a pandemic high point. KNAU’s Ryan Heinsius reports.

Hopi health officials caution that the decline in cases is still early and not yet sustained. But they attribute the drop to fewer large gatherings in recent weeks after the holidays caused infections on the reservation and elsewhere to skyrocket.

As of Tuesday, the tribe reported 67 confirmed active cases and widespread transmission in all 12 villages.

Hopi officials say the percent of positive tests, a key indicator of spread, is nearly 21.% – far higher than Arizona’s statewide rate and more than four times the national average. According to the tribe, the rate has to be well below 10% before leaders will consider lifting restrictions and mandates.

The tribe says it’s making steady progress vaccinating residents, and so far has has administered about 5,000 doses. Officials will receive 600 more shots next week when they’ll hold community vaccination events.

Ryan joined KNAU's newsroom as 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 frequent contributor to NPR.
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