Hopi Tribe goes into Red Alert as COVID cases rise

KYKOTSMOVI, Ariz. — The Hopi Tribe issued a red alert and returned to Phase 2 with modified provisions as latest data from the tribe’s Health and Human Services department shows a severe rise in COVID-19 positive cases on the reservation.

Phase 2 encourages all Hopi residents to stay home, wear masks, practice social distancing and to get vaccinated. Businesses should use telework as they can, limit travel and schools can reopen for in-person learning if they can show they can implement and maintain safety procedures.

As of Jan.13, there were 279 active cases (within the last 14 days) and 146 active cases (within the last seven days).

About 82 percent of the Hopi population is vaccinated with 91 percent of total eligible vaccinated.

“As the public health authority, the use of the red alert was to bring to light the seriousness of the pandemic to the forefront due to the alarming rate of COVID-19 cases,” said Royce Jenkins, director of the Public Health Authority for the Hopi Department of Health and Human Services. “It is going on three years and we all must do our part to continue to be on the defense and offense combating COVID-19.”

Jenkins said now everyone is having to deal with many variants and vaccines are important to combat that.

“Getting vaccinated keeps people from going to the hospital,” he said, explaining that side effects from the vaccine are usually mild to moderate for a day or two. “Preventative measures such as masking, sanitizing, social distancing and getting vaccinated have not changed. Protect yourself, family and friends.”

For those families in quarantine, partners with the Navajo Hopi Families COVID-19 Relief Fund is ready to assist with isolation kits.

“While Hopi Relief will still be providing support and services locally for Hopi, this added support will greatly help with the need we are seeing,” said The Hopi Foundation.

A link for isolation assistance is available here: https://navajohopisolidarity.org/isolation-assistance.

Update from Hopi Wellness Center

The Hoi Wellness Center announced with the Hopi Tribe in a Red Alert status, it has ceased all fitness center usage, in-person fitness classes and building rentals until further notice.

“We will proceed with conducting our health and wellness services utilizing virtual platforms the program staff are familiar with,” they said in an announcement.

Hopi Wellness Center hours remain 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday to conduct administrative business.

“Safety is the top priority for my staff and the participants,” the wellness center said. “It will take everyone to recommit back to safety mitigations to help reduce the spread and to lower the number of cases throughout the Hopi Reservation and we feel this momentary pause of in-person services will assist in those efforts.”

More information or for questions is available at (928) 734-3432.

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