Navajo-Hopi Nations,Flagstaff & Winslow News
Sat, Sept. 19

Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer in self-quarantine due to exposure to COVID-19

Stock photo

Stock photo

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. — During a live online town hall update April 9, Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez announced that he and Vice President Myron Lizer are currently self-quarantined because of being in close proximity April 7 to a first responder who later learned they tested positive for COVID-19.

In every visit to communities during the pandemic, the president and vice president took precautionary measures by wearing gloves and masks.

Nez and Lizer said they are feeling fine, but will continue self-quarantining themselves as a precaution, and will continue their duties through teleconferences, e-mail, and other means of communication.

Several employees have also been directed to self-quarantine —Nez and Lizer are following the same protocol.

The total number of positive tests for COVID-19 has reached 488 for the Navajo Nation as of Wednesday – an increase of 62 positive cases since Tuesday, according to the Navajo Department of Health and Navajo Area Indian Health Service, in coordination with the Navajo Epidemiology Center. The report also includes 2,221 total negative test results as of Wednesday. There is now a total of 20 confirmed deaths related to COVID-19.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines self-quarantining as separating or restricting the movement of people who were exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick.

“This is real and no one is immune from contracting the virus. We will continue to help fight for our people while we self-quarantine — this is a precautionary measure. While meeting with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Arizona National Guard, we came into contact with several first responders, one of whom later tested positive for the virus. I’ve been informed that the officials with the Army Corps and National Guard are also self-quarantining to be on the safe side and are doing fine. Our prayers are always with our first responders and many others who are impacted by the virus,” Nez said.

During the town hall, Nez encouraged everyone to be prepared for the 57-hour curfew that will take effect on Friday at 8 p.m. until Monday at 5a.m., except for essential employees who are required to have documentation from their employer.

Navajo Police will strictly enforce the curfew order by issuing citations that may include a fine up to $1,000 and/or 30 days in jail.

“I am doing fine as I continue to self-quarantine. We will overcome COVID-19 together, but it’s up to each of us whether that will be sooner or later. The more people continue to go out into public, the longer we will have to stay home. Now is the time to get prepared for the 57-hour curfew,” said Vice President Lizer.

On Wednesday, the leaders issued a proclamation declaring April 10-13, 2020, as "Navajo Nation Family Prayer Weekend," in observance of Good Friday and Easter and to encourage families to pray together for family members, neighbors, health care workers, governing officials, and those who are sick, and the families who have lost loved ones due to COVID-19 on the Navajo Nation.

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