Navajo-Hopi Nations,Flagstaff & Winslow News
Wed, Sept. 22

Hopi Tribe announces phased reopening as COVID-19 cases decline

The Hopi Tribe has announced plans for a phased reopening of the reservation following a downward trend of COVID-19 cases. (Loretta McKenney/NHO)

The Hopi Tribe has announced plans for a phased reopening of the reservation following a downward trend of COVID-19 cases. (Loretta McKenney/NHO)

KYKOTSMOVI, Ariz. – As Hopi Tribal COVID-19 cases continue in a downward trajectory, the tribe announced phase one of a phased re-opening April 1.

The executive order was released following the expiration of the stay-at-home order and other public health emergency orders.

According to Executive Order #008-2021, data has reflected a downward trajectory or near zero percent (5.0 percent) of positive tests as a percentage of total tests over a 14-day period. Based on an analysis of available data, benchmarks have been reached in all 13 Hopi villages and communities that meet the gating criteria recommended by the CDC for Phase One reopening.

“The Hopi Tribe is continuing to face the COVID-19 pandemic with limited resources to respond to the public health emergency and is fully aware of the danger of prematurely opening the community,” the order states.

Under the phase one reopening plan certain restrictions remain in place including the use of face coverings inside all public facilities and buildings, common areas and outdoor locations where physical distancing is not possible. Hopi Law Enforcement will also continue to coordinate with village leaders and security officers to allow for welfare checks.

Hopi villages and regions that satisfy baseline CDC gating criteria are eligible to begin phase one reopening and will be allowed to do so based on when the administration of each respective village allows. The Tribe stated they would allow village administrators to decide when to start the reopening process in recognition of village sovereignty.

The Hopi Tribe continues to encourage all Hopi members to take advantage of the vaccines that are available to help guard against COVID-19.

Additionally, the Tribe is encouraging vulnerable adults to continue to stay home and physical distancing should be kept in place in social setting of more than 10 people.

Only essential travel should be permitted and symptom monitoring and isolation following traveling is expected.

Employees are encouraged to work remotely whenever possible. If possible, employers should have employees return to work in phases and congregate settings like breakrooms and dining areas should adhere to social distancing recommendations.

Schools and organized youth activities that are currently closed should remain closed. Childcare programs can be opened to children of essential workers if social distancing can be maintained.

Visits to senior centers, living facilities and hospitals should be restricted except for certain compassionate care reasons.

Large gatherings including sporting event, celebrations and performances may operate under strict physical distancing and sanitation protocols. For ceremonies and dances, villages should follow the same guidance and adhere to village orders and directives.

Wellness Center gyms that are currently closed should remain closed.

Hopi businesses should limit capacity and practice social distancing. Temperature checks and screenings should be implemented for customers, clients and staff. Cleaning and disinfectant protocols should remain in place and traffic flow should be implemented.

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