Navajo-Hopi Nations,Flagstaff & Winslow News
Wed, April 21

Update: Navajo Nation rescinds stay-at-home order; keeps daily curfew in place to go into effect March 15
Nation concentrates on 'safer-at-home' guidance

Public health messages across the Navajo Nation emphasize social distancing, as seen on this community billboard. (Photo courtesy of the Navajo Nation Council)

Public health messages across the Navajo Nation emphasize social distancing, as seen on this community billboard. (Photo courtesy of the Navajo Nation Council)

Update:

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. – The Navajo Nation will transition from red status to orange because of declining COVID-19 cases, testing availability, hospital capacity and increased vaccinations on the reservation.

The safer-at-home order still continues the daily curfew from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. (MDT) seven days a week.

According to public health officials, the Navajo Nation has met all gating measures and indicators to transition to “orange status” due to a consistent downward trajectory in new infections of COVID-19, less than 80-percent inpatient hospital and ICU bed usage, and an infection rate of 0.81 over the last seven days, which indicates that the Nation can expect to see fewer cases.

As of Wednesday, the Navajo Nation has had 24 consecutive days with less than 50 new COVID-19 cases and 13 consecutive days with less than 25 reported. As of March 9, the Navajo Area Indian Health Service reported that 195,554 total vaccine doses have been received, 141,797 administered, which represents nearly 73-percent so far. 52,433 individuals have received a first and second dose of the vaccines.

“This is not a full reopening as some states are doing,” Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez said. “Instead, this is a carefully-crafted soft reopening that includes specific guidelines to continue helping to reduce the spread of COVID-19 while allowing more businesses to reopen at no more than 25-percent capacity along with strict provisions.”

The new provisions for businesses under the “orange status” include:

· All businesses will be required to submit a COVID-19 Reopening Plan to the Navajo Nation Division of Economic Development before reopening in Orange Status. Reopening plans can be emailed to: navajoeconomy@navajo-nsn.gov

· 25% capacity allowed for most businesses

· Restaurants and Dining facilities: drive-thru and curb-side permissible

· Restaurants with permanent outdoor dining structures may provide outdoor dining at 25% of maximum capacity, as long as social distancing between tables is enforced

· Restaurants without permanent outdoor dining structures are allowed up to 10 outdoor tables (max 4 persons per table), as long as social distancing between tables is enforced

· Personal Care and Services: service by appointment only and allow time for cleaning between appointments

· Marinas and parks: appointment only

· Casinos and video poker: Navajo casinos are allowed to open to Navajo Nation residents and employees only, in accordance with a reopening and workplace safety plan

· Businesses shall limit operations before 6:00 a.m. (MDT) and after 8:00 p.m. (MDT)

· Not Allowed in Orange Status: youth programs, museums, flea markets, roadside markets, gyms, recreation facilities, movie theaters.

Nez said it’s been a year since the first confirmed cases of COVID-19 on the Navajo Nation and that everyone has learned a lot about the virus and how to keep people safe.

“The COVID-19 variants are still a concern in many regions of the country and we will continue to monitor the spread and if there is a change in the trend of new infections and hospitalizations, we will quickly revisit our public health emergency orders,” Nez said. “We encourage everyone to continue taking on the personal responsibility of staying home as much as possible, wearing one or two masks, avoiding large crowds, practicing social distancing, and washing your hands often.”

Public Health Emergency Order No. 2021-006 outlines the safer-at-home order that requires individuals to exercise personal responsibility to remain safe and exercise caution when engaging in public activities.

Gatherings of 10 or fewer people are permitted.

Updated CDC guidance for vaccinated persons to gather is currently under review and further guidance will be provided in the future.

The new public health orders do not address the reopening of schools. The Nez-Lizer Administration continues to support online learning for all schools on the Navajo Nation for the time being, this position is also supported by resolutions from the Navajo Nation Board of Education and the Navajo Nation Council.

Additionally, the order outlines specific safety guidelines and requirements for traditional ceremonies of no more than 10 people in attendance and churches at no more than 25% capacity with social distancing mandates, masks required, and prohibitions on sharing items/objects.

“Personal responsibility is key to staying safe and continuing the reduction in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations,” said Vice President Myron Lizer. “For nearly a year, we’ve implemented many safety and preventative measures, but at some point, we have to take careful steps to safely reopen in stages. We strongly encourage everyone to continue practicing all precautions and keep your guard up. Vaccinations are another key component that is helping to reduce the number of new cases, and we hope to continue seeing more of our Navajo people receiving the vaccines. Please be safe, make good decisions for you and your loved ones, and keep praying.”

The public health emergency orders are available online at: https://www.ndoh.navajo-nsn.gov/COVID-19. For more information, including helpful prevention tips, and resources to help stop the spread of COVID-19, visit the Navajo Department of Health's COVID-19 website: http://www.ndoh.navajo-nsn.gov/COVID-19.

Prior story:

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. — The Navajo Nation extended its stay-at-home order and daily curfew until March 15.

The Navajo Nation’s stay-at-home order and daily curfew remains in effect from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. (MST) seven days a week.

“Mutations or variants of the COVID-19 virus continue to spread and we won’t know the extent of the impacts for some time,” said Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez. “Until we know, it’s very important that we continue to take all precautions to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe and healthy.”

Nez said while some states are lifting safety measures, including the Governor of Arizona Doug Ducey, the Nation will continue to enforce its orders.

“The safest place to be is at home here on the Navajo Nation,” Nez said. “Please be safe and continue to pray for our health care workers, frontline warriors, and all of our Navajo people. Continue to stay home as much as possible, wear one or two masks in public, avoid large in-person gatherings, practice social distancing, and wash your hands often with soap and warm water.”

Health care facilities across the Navajo Nation continue to administer COVID-19 vaccines during drive-thru events or by appointment. Anyone wanting to receive the vaccine is encouraged to contact their health care provider for more information for the service unit the person is in.

“Our health care workers are vaccinating people as quickly as possible, but please remember that even if you receive the vaccine you must continue to take precautions to protect yourself from COVID-19,” said Vice President Myron Lizer. “We have many elders in our communities, so please think of them and be cautious at all times.”

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 or by calling (928) 871-7014.

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