- By Native News Online Staff
WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. — After the long months of the Covid-19 pandemic, Navajo Nation parks are allowed to reopen at 50 percent capacity. This comes as Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer signed a resolution into law on Tuesday, July 6, 2021.
The Navajo Department of Health will issue a new Public Health Emergency Order on Wednesday, outlining safety protocols and requirements for reopening. The mask mandate remains in effect for the entire Navajo Nation.
“Today’s signing of this resolution signifies the strength and resilience of the Navajo people throughout this Covid-19 pandemic. Our gating measures and data show a consistent downward trend in new cases and deaths related to Covid-19, and we have a large majority of our Navajo Nation residents fully vaccinated,” Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez said.
The parks will be allowed to reopen on Thursday, July 8.
“We continue to meet with our health experts on a regular basis and they support the reopening of parks to our residents and our visitors. We respectfully ask all visitors and tourists to cooperate with our businesses by adhering to all Covid-19 safety protocols, which includes wearing a mask at all times in public,” President Nez said.
The resolution signed Tuesday was approved by the 24th Navajo Nation Council on June 25, 2021. The resolution rescinds a total of eight resolutions that were put in place during the height of the pandemic when the Navajo Nation was experiencing many new Covid-19 infections on a daily basis. The following resolutions were rescinded and are no longer in effect:
- CMA-16-20: which previously closed Navajo Nation roads to visitors and tourists
- CO-84-20: which previously opposed in-person school instruction due to COVID-19
- CJY-66-20: which allowed meetings through telecommunications for chapter subcommittees, Community Land Use Planning Committees, agency, regional and district councils, chapters and agency veterans organizations
- CMA-09-20: which temporarily reduced chapter meeting quorum requirements
“It’s a great day for the Navajo Nation and for our Navajo business owners! The Navajo Nation faced Covid-19 challenges that not only harmed our public health, but also the economy of small and developing businesses. Today’s approval to reopen is historical for our Navajo citizens. As we bounce back from temporary closures, we continue the legacy of Navajo resiliency. We give thanks to our Creator for blessing the Nation to recover from sickness, drought, and lack of opportunities, into economic prosperity. one another and to protect one another as more businesses reopen to our residents and the many tourists who visit the beautiful Navajo Nation,” Vice President Lizer said.
The Navajo Nation parks that have been closed due to the Covid-19 restrictions are; Four Corners Monument, Tseyi Diné Heritage Area (Canyon de chelly), Bowl Canyon-Camp Assayi, Lake Powell Navajo Tribal Park, Marble Canyon, Upper/Lower Antelope Canyon, Little Colorado River Gorge, Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park and Welcome Center, San Juan River (Navajo) and Window Rock Veterans Memorial Park.
Schools on the Navajo Nation will be allowed to reopen for in-person instruction for students, in accordance with a safety plan that is required to be submitted to the Department of Diné Education. The Department of Diné Education recently hosted a parent/guardian forum to discuss K-12 education on the Navajo Nation amidst Covid-19.
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