Cove Community COVID-19 Update
Alberta is the supervisor of the Cove Senior Center (Navajo Nation).
Alberta is the supervisor of the Cove Senior Center (Shiprock Agency, Navajo Nation) serving about 50 Cove Elders. The Southwest Reservation Aid (SWRA) program has been supporting Cove Senior Center for nearly 10 years.
As essential personnel, Alberta and the center’s cook are home delivering hot meals on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, and cold sack lunches for Tuesdays and Thursdays. The center stopped congregate meals and socializations March 13th — the same week Navajo Nation announced a temporary reduction in non-essential government services and closure of schools.
We recently performed a contact-less check-in with Alberta and she explained, “We are on our way to Bloomfield [80 miles east of Cove] now to pick up food that we had ordered over a month ago. Everywhere, every place is getting harder to purchase the food we need to prepare the meals. We have one vendor that delivers twice a month, but we still must go to Farmingdale and Bloomfield to shop. Before this hit, we were about to hire a driver, but that is delayed now. It’s just the two of us. Our CHR is still working but can’t really do anything but welfare checks — doesn’t want to expose those most vulnerable to COVID-19 — sometimes she does a ride-along with us. [When we closed the center] some Elders were shocked to hear they had to stay home, and we still get calls asking if they can come by the center yet.”
Alberta also shared that she feels the “Elders are doing just fine and do have food at home,” but there are some dependent on the meals they serve at the Senior Center. She added, “Right now, we serve hot meals 3 times a week along with a sack lunch, which makes up for in-between days [of Tuesday/Thursday]. We are not giving meals for the weekend — we do not have enough nonperishable food items to give.”
Alberta is grateful for the food and supplies being delivered through the SWRA program.
The Navajo Nation became a COVID-19 hotspot quickly and began implementing 57-hour lockdowns during the weekends. Alberta is grateful for the food and supplies being delivered through the SWRA program: “As far as integrating the [SWRA] food into the menu, it really does help cut down on costs.” She mentioned that she would like to sign up again for the food boxes, “that would be great — maybe only 30 to reach those that really do need it.”
- They receive regular shipments of food to support their menus, emergency food boxes for Elders to take home, and personal care items.
- For 2020, they have received monthly shipments: 1,120 pounds of Emergency food; 280 pounds of food for prepared meals, and 240 pounds of personal care products.
- They don’t have access to PPE’s, but they do have gloves. Alberta made some masks. However, they need hand sanitizer.
- SWRA spoke with Alberta on April 9th, Navajo Nation had 488 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 20 virus-related deaths; the numbers on May 5th had climbed to more than 2,600 confirmed cases and 79 confirmed deaths.
Thank you for your support of services that help Program Partners like Alberta and the Elders in the Cove community during these uncertain times.