Published June 21, 2020
WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. — In the midst of the COVID-19 that has hit the Navajo Indian Reservation hard, the Navajo Times closed its doors for 14 days, beginning on Friday, June 19, after two of its employees tested posted for the deadly virus on Thursday.
With its offices closed, the Navajo Times will publish the regular online E-edition during those two weeks and post daily articles on its website (navajotimes.com). The newspaper will not print its scheduled June 25 and July 2 issues. Staff will work remotely.
“Two members of our Navajo Times team tested positive for the coronavirus on Thursday and so we immediately went into a 14-day quarantine to protect our staff, our newspaper carriers and all of our customers and clients,” CEO/Publisher Tommy Arviso, Jr. said. “As a result of the testing, it is most important that we follow proper protocol and adhere to the 14-day quarantine period, as advised by the CDC.”
“All of our staff have been tested and we will wait until all of the results have been received,” Arviso continued.
“We intend to continue to provide quality journalism, advertising, legal notices and classified advertising,” said Arviso. “It’s just that we will publish all of that information in an online issue. We’ve never missed a publishing date but we have been delayed a few times in the past due to mechanical or press issues. This time around we are ensuring that we do everything we can to keep our employees and customers safe and that includes not printing for two weeks,” said Arviso.
Duane Beyal, editor of the Navajo Times, said the pandemic requires everyone to pull together and support one another.
“Not publishing a newspaper you can hold in your hands goes against everything I’ve been trained to do,” Beyal said.
The newspaper’s office was thoroughly cleaned and sanitized on Saturday by a professional cleaning company.
The staff will return to their office on July 6, after the conclusion of the July 4th holiday.