WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. — In the midst of a surge of Covid-19 cases on the nation's largest Indian reservation, Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez says, "We cannot give up. We have to keep fighting no matter how difficult this pandemic gets. Our public health officials are pleading with everyone to stay home as much as possible."

On Saturday, the Navajo Department of Health, in coordination with the Navajo Epidemiology Center and the Navajo Area Indian Health Service, reported 172 new COVID-19 positive cases for the Navajo Nation and no recent deaths. The total number of deaths remains 598 as previously reported on Friday. Reports indicate that 7,926 individuals have recovered from COVID-19, and 137,986 COVID-19 tests have been administered. The total number of positive COVID-19 cases is now 13,249, including eight delayed unreported cases.

"We have high numbers of COVID-19 cases reported each day, so we need to do a better job of isolating the virus. When we move the virus spreads even more," Nez said. “When we isolate, we isolate the virus and reduce the spread. Please listen to our health experts and stay home, wear a mask, avoid gatherings and crowds, practice social distancing, and wash your hands often. Our ancestors were strong and resilient and we are too, so please be safe and stay local, stay safe," Nez continued.

Navajo Nation COVID-19 positive cases by Service Unit:

  • Chinle Service Unit: 2,913
  • Crownpoint Service Unit: 1,441
  • Ft. Defiance Service Unit: 1,338
  • Gallup Service Unit: 2,032
  • Kayenta Service Unit: 1,480
  • Shiprock Service Unit: 1,983
  • Tuba City Service Unit: 1,368
  • Winslow Service Unit: 685

* Nine residences with COVID-19 positive cases are not specific enough to place them accurately in a Service Unit.

The Navajo Nation’s 56-hour weekend curfew remains in effect until 5:00 a.m. (MST) on Monday, Nov. 16, 2020 due to the spread of COVID-19 on the Navajo Nation, largely due to travel off the Navajo Nation and family gatherings. On Saturday, the state of New Mexico reported 1,180 new cases of COVID-19, the state of Arizona reported 3,476 new cases, and Utah reported a single-day record-high of 5,352 cases. 

On Sunday at 6:00 p.m., the Nez-Lizer Administration will have an online town hall on the Nez-Lizer Facebook page to provide updates on the most recent public health emergency orders and executive order, which will implement a three-week stay-at-home lockdown order for the entire Nation, new provisions for businesses, the closure of government offices with the exception of essential employees, and a call for schools to return to online learning full-time. 

To encourage residents to stay local and stay safe during the 56-hour weekend curfew, gas stations, grocery stores, laundromats, and restaurants and food establishments will remain open between the hours of 7:00 a.m. (MST) and 3:00 p.m. (MST). These businesses are required to ensure employees and customers wear masks, practice social distancing, disinfect high-touch surfaces, access to hand wash stations, sanitizers and gloves, and limit the number of customers in any enclosed areas. Restaurants and food establishments must operate on a curbside or drive-thru basis only.

Support Independent Indigenous Journalism

Native News Online is an independent, Indigenous-led newsroom with a crucial mission:  We want to change the narrative about Indian Country. We do this by producing intelligent, fact-based journalism that tells the full story from all corners of Indian Country.  We pride ourselves on covering the tribes you may have never heard of before and by respecting and listening to the communities we serve through our reporting. As newsrooms across the country continue to shrink, coverage of Indian Country is more important than ever, and we are committed to filling this ever-present hole in journalism.

Because we believe everyone in Indian Country deserves equal access to news and commentary pertaining to them, their relatives and their communities, the story you’ve just finished was free — and we want to keep it that way, for all readers. But we hope it inspires you to make a gift to Native News Online so that we can continue publishing more stories that make a difference to Native people, whether they live on or off the reservation. Your donation will help us keep producing quality journalism and elevating Indigenous voices. Any contribution of any amount, big or small, gives us a better, stronger future and allows us to remain a force for change. 
Donate to Native News Online today and support independent Indigenous journalism. Thank you.

About The Author
Native News Online Staff
Author: Native News Online Staff