Doctors Without Borders heads to coronavirus-stricken Navajo Nation Reservation

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The international humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders, which rarely operates in the United States, has dispatched nine medical workers to the Navajo Nation to help with the coronavirus pandemic.

The Navajo Nation Reservation, located in the Southwest and covering the corners of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah, has experienced some of the highest infection rates in the country.

Social distancing and sanitary measures required during the pandemic have been a challenge because of the communal living traditionally exercised on the country’s largest reservation.

"Our team contains a mixture of medical professionals and experts in water and sanitation and emergency response," a representative from Doctors Without Borders told Fox News.

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Doctors Without Borders operates in more 70 countries around the world, though they rarely operate in the United States -- until now.

"Historically, the Navajo Nation has not received the same attention and resources as other communities in the United States, and that has made it particularly difficult for them to respond to this unprecedented epidemic," said Doctors without Borders.

“This is reflected in the fact that the Navajo Nation has one of the highest rates of COVID-19 infection in the entire United States."

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The Navajo Nation Reservation has a population of nearly 175,000, many of whom do not have access to running water. And the reservation has seen more than 3,120 coronavirus cases since March, with over 100 deaths.

The rate of infection is nearly 18 percent, and the lack of accessible resources is why Doctors Without Borders is stepping in to assist the community, it said.

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The Navajo Nation has extended an order declaring a state of emergency and closure of all government offices until June 7.

"As the rest of our nation begins to open up, we need to remember that this virus came to our nation much later than the rest of our country, so that means we'll exit this COVID-19 crisis later than the rest, this is just common sense," Navajo Nation Vice President Myron Lizer said from a town hall Tuesday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.