Navajo Nation implements 57-hour weekend curfew; Hopi Health Care reports 11 positive cases
On Hopi, there was a report of a positive case in the Village of Bacavi; the village is closed to all non-residents
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — On April 5, the Navajo Department of Health will implement a 57-hour weekend curfew beginning at 8 p.m. (MDT) on Friday, April 10, to 5 a.m. (MDT) on Monday, April 13 to slow the spread of the Dikos Nstaaígíí-19 (COVID-19) on the Navajo Nation.
“The public health emergency order is intended to restrict the movement of Navajo citizens during the full weekend curfew. We are seeing way too many people contract the virus and we need to step up measures to begin to reduce the numbers. Our health care system cannot manage the growing numbers of patients and those who need to be admitted. We continue to receive reports of people on the road and traveling with families to nearby border towns,” said Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez.
The emergency order states that all individuals on the Navajo Nation shall comply with the weekend curfew, and failure to comply will result in a citation and fine. In addition, the Navajo Police Department will increase checkpoints along roadways across the Navajo Nation to further enforce the “Stay at Home Order” and curfew.
The emergency order further states that individuals are to remain home during the curfew, except in the event of an emergency. The weekend curfew does not apply to essential employees, including medical providers and first responders, which are required to show proof of official identification or letter of designation from their essential business employer on official letterhead. Other essential businesses are encouraged to limit operations during the curfew.
The Nation reported 384 positive cases on the Nation Monday, April 6.
The Navajo Police continue to issue citations and fines for individuals who violate the Nation’s Stay-at-Home order and daily curfews that require all Navajo Nation residents to be home between 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (MST).
On Hopi, there was a report of a positive case in the Village of Bacavi of a community member who is presently at Tuba City Regional Health Care Corporation.
Bacavi is closed to all non-residents and has issued a shelter-in-place order through May 1 and is working to ensure the village has ample supplies.
The Indian Health Service reported April 6 that the number of positive cases at Hopi Health Care Center is at 11, with 46 people tested. Thirty-two patients have tested negative and 3 were pending.
Vice Chairman of the Hopi Tribe Clark Tenakhongva discussed the impact of the curfew that is in place on the Navajo Nation on Hopi members urging them to not travel during the times of the curfew.
“I urge our Hopi people, please respect the curfew order,” Tenakhongva said in a Facebook post. “Hopi people are not restricted to travel, but should you leave before 4 a.m. or return after 7 p.m., you are subject to be stopped.” (Hopi does not observe Daylight Savings Time, while the Navajo Nation does).
Tenakhongva said Hopi members should be prepared with proper identification, but said Hopi members will not be cited, providing they are not in violation of any traffic or tribal law.
Navajo Police Chief Phillip B. Francisco said offiers are setting up checkpoints on roadways to further enforce the orders, check essential work documentation and direct those who are not on essential travel to return home.
“You may be young and healthy, but please be mindful of your elders — your parents and grandparents,” Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez said. “Their immune system may not be as strong as yours and they need to be protected.”
Nez said the majority of those who have lost their lives are older than 60 years of age.
“Projections indicate that we have not reached the peak of the spread of COVID-19, so please take every precaution and stay home as much as possible,” Nez said.
The 384 positive cases on the Navajo Nation have been brokend down into the following counties:
Navajo County, AZ: 156
Apache County, AZ: 37
Coconino County, AZ: 102
McKinley County, NM: 23
San Juan County, NM: 49
Cibola County, NM: 8
San Juan County, UT: 7
Socorro County, NM: 2
During a live online town hall meeting April 5, Nez continued to urge the general public to use protective masks, including homemade masks, and protective gloves in public to help prevent the spread of the virus. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also issued similar recommendations.
“Take it upon yourselves to help us spread the word and urge everyone to stay home as much as possible. There are far too many people who continue unnecessary travel and going into public. Please leave your children home and only send one family member to the store if you need essential items. The virus is spreading quickly and we need to isolate it as much as possible,” said Navajo Nation Vice President Myron Lizer.
The Indian Health Service announced April 3 plans to distribute federal money and resources to respond to the pandemic.
In the coming weeks, $570 million will be allocated to IHS and tribal health programs. These include hospital, health clinics purchases/referred care, alcohol and substance abuse and mental health. A recent statement also said IHS has set aside $30 million for urban Indian health programs.
“(These) resources are in addition to the $134 million IHS announced last week for COVID-19 testing and response and the $80 million announced two weeks ago, including the $40 million available as grants, from the CDC (Center for Disease Prevention and Control) for tribal and urban Indian health programs to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic,” the agency said.
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