Navajo Nation extends daily curfews, stay-at-home order and 57-hour weekend lockdown
WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. — The Navajo Nation will implement a daily curfew during the weekdays from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. Oct. 2 and will continue 57-hour weekend lockdowns from Oct. 2 at 8 p.m. (MDT) to 5 a.m. (MDT) Oct. 5 because of a rise in COVID-19 cases in many regions on the Navajo Nation.
Weekend lockdowns will continue for the same 57-hour time period on Oct. 9-12. The Stay-at-Home order remains in effect for the entire Navajo Nation.
According to information provided by the Navajo Epidemiology Center and contact tracers, the increase in COVID-19 cases is directly related to residents traveling off of the Navajo Nation and family gatherings where social distancing and the wearing of face masks are not enforced.
The new public health emergency order also allows Navajo Nation residents to collect and haul wood during the 57-hour weekend lockdown, as long as wood haulers obtain a permit from the Navajo Nation Forestry Department. Wood hauling groups are limited to no more than five people and are required to wear masks, maintain social distancing, and use hand sanitizer.
“It only took a few people traveling off our Nation to have wide spread increases in cluster cases in several regions of the Navajo Nation,” said Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez. “The only way we are going to reduce the spread of the virus is by adhering to the recommendations and public health emergency orders issued by our public health experts.”
Nez said the latest public health order allows residents to collect and haul wood, as long as a permit is secured, preparation for the winter season.
“Please use this time wisely and plan ahead to ensure your health and safety,” Nez said.
Nearby counties and states have also reported increasing numbers of COVID-19 cases, which adds to the overall risk for residents who travel off the Navajo Nation, the administration said.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Limiting face-to-face contact with others is the best way to reduce the spread of coronavirus disease” and "the more closely you interact with others and the longer that interaction, the higher the risk of COVID-19 spread.”
“It’s very alarming to see the number of cluster cases rise in various regions of the Navajo Nation, but we have the ability to once again reduce the number of cases,” said Vice President Lizer. “The road ahead is challenging, but we have to remember that the strength and resilience of our ancestors remains within each of us to this day. We will overcome this pandemic together.”
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.
All businesses including all stores, gas stations, restaurants, drive-thru food establishments, hay and all other vendors are required to cease operations and close during the weekend lockdowns and daily curfew hours.
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 lockdown and daily curfew hours.
Residents are also allowed to exercise outdoors within their immediate residential area or home site area during non-curfew hours.
To view Public Health Emergency Order No. 2020-023, please click the following link: https://www.opvp.navajo-nsn.gov/Portals/0/FILES/Latest%20News/NDOH%20Public%20Health%20Emergency%20Order%202020-024%20Dikos%20Ntsaaigii-19.pdf.
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: http://www.ndoh.navajo-nsn.gov/COVID-19.