Navajo Nation COVID-19 response

Hand washing remains one of the top recommendations for preventing COVID-19 infections, but maintaining good hand-washing hygiene is difficult if you don’t have running water.

An estimated 30-40% of residents of the Navajo Nation do not have running water, and the pandemic has hit the Navajo Nation, which covers a 25,000-square-mile swath of the Four Corners region of the Southwest, with deadly force. As of June 16, there were 6,747 reported cases and 322 deaths in a population of 173,000, the highest known infection rate anywhere in the country, including New York City.

In May, Heart to Heart International delivered personal protective equipment, 2250 hygiene kits and 43 tons of water to organizations serving residents throughout the Navajo Nation.

Two members of the Navajo Nation holding water delivered by Heart to Heart International.

After delivering water to students on the reservation, one school administrator said: “We were able to get some water out to our students from the reservation today. They were very thankful saying they go through a lot of water. We tend to forget how precious water is, don’t we? Thank you for blessing us!”

– Dr. Kristi E. O’Riley, Executive Director, Native American Christian Academy

Another recipient said: “Just got word from the eastern “Faith Site” that as they went out to give water and supplies, many were stating that they hadn’t eaten for 3 days and they were extremely grateful.”

Tim Tsoodle, Director, Navajo Nation Christian Response Team

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