Uptick in cases puts Navajo Nation on alert; 56-hour weekend curfews reimplemented
WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. – The Navajo Nation has announced additional 56-hour weekend curfews will continue over the next two weekends.
“If you don’t need to purchase essential items or services and if you’re not an essential employee, then you should be at home during the 56-hour weekend curfew,” said Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez. “No one should be leaving the Navajo Nation on weekends. Stay home as much as possible, wear a mask, practice social distancing, wash your hands often, and avoid crowds and family gatherings,”
To encourage residents to stay local and safe during the weekend curfews, the new public health order allows gas stations, grocery stores, laundromats and restaurants and food establishments to remain open between the hours of 7 a.m. (MST) and 3 p.m. (MST) during the 56-hour weekend curfews. These businesses are required to ensure employees and customers wear masks, practice social distancing, disinfect high-touch surfaces, access to hand wash stations, sanitizers and gloves and limit the number of customers in any enclosed areas. Restaurants and food establishments must operate on a curbside or drive-thru basis only.
The curfews are implemented by the Navajo Department of Health (NDOH) to stop the uncontrolled spread of COVID-19 in 29 communities on the Navajo Nation.
According to the NDOH, the increase in COVID-19 cases in certain communities is largely due to travel off the Navajo Nation and family gatherings.
The 56-hour weekend curfews begin at 9 p.m. Nov. 6 until 5 a.m. Nov. 9 and the same time periods for Nov. 13-16. Daily curfew remains in effect from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. on weekdays.
Individuals are permitted to conduct farming activities and tend to livestock, however livestock owners must plan ahead to purchase hay and feed – hay vendors will not be allowed to sell during the weekend curfew and daily curfew hours. Residents are also allowed to exercise outdoors within their immediate residential area or home site area. Wood gathering and hauling is allowed with a permit issued by the Navajo Nation Forestry Department. Essential Employees reporting to or from duty are exempted from the weekend lockdown, but must carry official identification or a letter of designation from their employer on official letterhead which includes a contact name and number for verification.
Recent numbers from NDOH, in coordination with the Navajo Epidemiology Center and the Navajo Area Indian Health Service, report 131 new COVID-19 positive cases for the Navajo Nation and no recent deaths as of Nov. 4.
There have been a total of 586 deaths. Reports indicate that 7,613 individuals have recovered from COVID-19, and 127,901 COVID-19 tests have been administered. The total number of positive COVID-19 cases is now 12,080, including one delayed reported case.
The following communities are identified as areas with uncontrolled spread of COVID-19 as of Nov. 4: Alamo, Aneth, Bird Springs, Bodaway/Gap, Cameron, Casamero Lake, Churchrock, Counselor, Coyote Canyon, Crownpoint, Dilkon, Ganado, Indian Wells, Iyanbito, Jeddito, Kaibeto, Leupp, Nahatadziil, Red Mesa, Round Rock, Sanostee, Sheepsprings, Shiprock, Teesto, Tohajiilee, Tolani Lake, Tonalea, Torreon and Two Grey Hills.
On Nov. 4, the state of New Mexico reported 1,022 new cases of COVID-19, the state of Arizona reported 814 new cases, and Utah reported 2,110.
“Now that gas stations, grocery stores, laundromats, and restaurants and food establishments will be open during certain hours on weekends, we should have less of our Navajo people traveling off the Nation,” said Vice President Myron Lizer. “We may not have the variety of options when it comes to shopping and food on our Nation, but we have to do everything we can to keep ourselves safe and healthy. With the rise in COVID-19 cases, we are getting closer and closer to having a public health crisis. Please pray for our people and stay local and stay safe,”
More information, including helpful prevention tips, and resources to help stop the spread of COVID-19 is available from the NDOH at http://www.ndoh.navajo-nsn.gov/COVID-19. For COVID-19 related questions and information, call (928) 871-7014.