Navajo Nation extends emergency declaration and government closure to Aug. 16
WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. — Because of a rise in COVID-19 cases in nearby towns and cities, Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez said the Navajo Nation is extending the emergency declaration and government closure to Aug. 16
Based on recommendations of health care experts and data from the states of Utah, New Mexico, Arizona and nearby cities that show increases in COVID-19 cases, Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer signed Executive Order No. 008-20 July 22, extending the Nation’s state of emergency and the closure of Navajo Nation government offices and entities from July 27 to Aug. 16.
“The data shows that the Navajo people are doing a good job in bringing the number of COVID-19 cases to a steady decrease on the Navajo Nation, but nearby border towns and cities such as Phoenix and Albuquerque continue to show increases in new cases,” Nez said. “We cannot play politics with this potential deadly virus, instead we have to listen to our health care experts and analyze the data.”
Nez said the Nation currently has around 3,620 employees who are working to perform essential duties and keep the government in operation —well over half of the total workforce.
“We have to keep fighting COVID-19 together,” he said.
All Navajo Nation residents are asked to continue wearing protective masks in public, stay home as much as possible, practice social distancing, wash hands often and avoid large gatherings.
The Department of Health and the Health Command Operations Center is also preparing for the upcoming winter flu season, which will present more challenges, as well as a vaccination plan once a COVID-19 vaccine is proven to be safe and is made available.
“We are seeing some good indications in our recent daily numbers, but the risk is still very high and we still have many people who are recovering and many that are hospitalized,” Lizer said. “We’ve had 26 consecutive days of fewer than 100 cases. Let’s keep the momentum up and let’s keep fighting this virus together. Our first responders are not giving up, so let’s not lose hope. Keep praying and keep listening to the health care experts.”
On July 17, the Navajo Department of Health issued Public Health Emergency Order No. 2020-018, implementing two additional 57-hour weekend lockdowns from July 24 to July 27 and from July 31to August 3 starting at 8 p.m. and ending at 5 a.m. A separate order is being developed to require residents that travel to “hotspots” to quarantine for 14 days when they return to the Navajo Nation.
The Navajo Nation’s Stay at Home Order remains in effect requiring all individuals on the Navajo Nation to stay at home and strictly limit movement, and limit public contact with others. Individuals may leave their place of residence only for emergencies or to perform "Essential Activities.”
The daily curfew also remains in effect from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. on weekdays.
To view Executive Order No. 008-20 visit https://www.opvp.navajo-nsn.gov/From-the-Office/Executive-Orders.
More information including helpful prevention tips, and resources to help stop the spread of COVID-19 is available by visiting the Navajo Department of Health's COVID-19 website at http://www.ndoh.navajo-nsn.gov/COVID-19. For COVID-19 related questions and more information (928) 871-7014.
Information provided by the Office of the Navajo Nation President