- By Native News Online Staff
WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. — On Wednesday, the Navajo Department of Health, in coordination with the Navajo Epidemiology Center and the Navajo Area Indian Health Service, reported 131 new COVID-19 positive cases for the Navajo Nation and no recent deaths. The total number of deaths remains 586 as previously reported on Tuesday. Reports indicate that 7,613 individuals have recovered from COVID-19, and 127,901 COVID-19 tests have been administered. The total number of positive COVID-19 cases is now 12,080, including one delayed reported case.
Navajo Nation COVID-19 positive cases by Service Unit:
- Chinle Service Unit: 2,679
- Crownpoint Service Unit: 1,274
- Ft. Defiance Service Unit: 1,248
- Gallup Service Unit: 1,856
- Kayenta Service Unit: 1,414
- Shiprock Service Unit: 1,828
- Tuba City Service Unit: 1,173
- Winslow Service Unit: 599
* Nine residences with COVID-19 positive cases are not specific enough to place them accurately in a Service Unit.
The Navajo Department of Health issued Public Health Emergency Order No. 2020-028 on Tuesday, which implements two 56-hour weekend curfews beginning at 9:00 p.m. (MST) on Friday, Nov. 6, 2020 until 5:00 a.m. (MST) on Monday, Nov. 9, 2020, and the same time periods for Nov. 13-16, 2020, due to the uncontrolled spread of COVID-19 in 29 communities on the Navajo Nation. The increase in the uncontrolled spread of COVID-19 in certain communities is largely due to travel off the Navajo Nation and family gatherings. The daily curfew remains in effect from 9:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. (MST) on weekdays.
To encourage residents to stay local and stay safe during the weekend curfews, the new public health order allows gas stations, grocery stores, laundromats, and restaurants and food establishments to remain open between the hours of 7:00 a.m. (MST) and 3:00 p.m. (MST) during the 56-hour weekend curfews. 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.
“Stay local, stay safe. We understand that some residents are leaving the Navajo Nation during previous weekend lockdowns in order to shop for essential items and to get food. The new provisions in the new public health order allow gas stations, grocery stores, laundromats, and restaurants and food establishments on the Navajo Nation to remain open during certain hours on weekends to allow residents to stay local and stay safe. If you don’t need to purchase essential items or services and if you’re not an essential employee, then you should be at home during the 56-hour weekend curfew. No one should be leaving the Navajo Nation on weekends. Stay home as much as possible, wear a mask, practice social distancing, wash your hands often, and avoid crowds and family gatherings,” said Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez.
Individuals are permitted to conduct farming activities and tend to livestock, however livestock owners must plan ahead to purchase hay and feed – hay vendors will not be allowed to sell during the weekend curfew and daily curfew hours. Residents are also allowed to exercise outdoors within their immediate residential area or home site area. Wood gathering and hauling is allowed with a permit issued by the Navajo Nation Forestry Department. Essential Employees reporting to or from duty are exempted from the weekend lockdown, but must carry official identification or a letter of designation from their employer on official letterhead which includes a contact name and number for verification.
On Wednesday, the Navajo Department of Health also issued a Health Advisory Notice to warn Navajo Nation residents of the “uncontrolled spread” of COVID-19 in certain communities. The cases reflect dates from October 16 – 29, 2020. The advisory will be in effect until the risk and cases decline. The following communities are identified as areas with uncontrolled spread of COVID-19 as of Wednesday:
Two Grey Hills
On Wednesday, the state of New Mexico reported 1,022 new cases of COVID-19, the state of Arizona reported 814 new cases, and Utah reported 2,110. On Thursday, Nov. 5, 2020 at 6:00 p.m. (MST), the Nez-Lizer Administration will host an online town hall on the Nez-Lizer Facebook page to provide additional updates regarding COVID-19.
“Stay local, stay safe during the weekend curfews to help our Nation to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our communities. Now that gas stations, grocery stores, laundromats, and restaurants and food establishments will be open during certain hours on weekends, we should have less of our Navajo people traveling off the Nation. We may not have the variety of options when it comes to shopping and food on our Nation, but we have to do everything we can to keep ourselves safe and healthy. With the rise in COVID-19 cases, we are getting closer and closer to having a public health crisis. Please pray for our people and stay local and stay safe,” said Vice President Myron Lizer.
To view Public Health Emergency Order No. 2020-028, please visit: https://www.google.com/url?q=https://www.ndoh.navajo-nsn.gov/Portals/0/PDF/PHE/NDOH%2520Public%2520Health%2520Emergency%2520Order%25202020-028%2520Dikos%2520Ntsaaigii-19.pdf&source=gmail&ust=1604631383906000&usg=AFQjCNEgZ6RBDNyygKR4uOSv26XdNraFsg">https://www.ndoh.navajo-nsn.gov/Portals/0/PDF/PHE/NDOH%20Public%20Health%20Emergency%20Order%202020-028%20Dikos%20Ntsaaigii-19.pdf.
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: https://www.google.com/url?q=http://www.ndoh.navajo-nsn.gov/COVID-19&source=gmail&ust=1604631383906000&usg=AFQjCNHp2lhZYRegG7W8p7z2lRCgqSGxmw">http://www.ndoh.navajo-nsn.gov/COVID-19. For COVID-19 related questions and information, call (928) 871-7014.
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