- By Native News Online Staff
WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. — The Navajo Nation stepped up its efforts to contain the spread of the COVID-19 (novel coronavirus), setting up roadblocks Monday night as a curfew took effect to keep Navajo citizens at home.
Soon after the curfew went into effect at 8:00 p.m., the Navajo Police Department set up roadblocks to check if the drivers of vehicles were going to or coming from their place of employment.
Joining some officers at some of the roadblocks were Navajo Nation Jonathan Nez, Vice President Myron Lizer and Police Chief Phillip B. Francisco. The Navajo Nation leaders handed out COVID-19 pamphlets and urged drivers to return home safely and comply with the curfew.
The curfew allows for Navajo tribal citizens to travel to and from work during the overnight curfew hours (8:00 p.m. to 5 a.m.). The curfew will remain in effect nightly until further notice.
Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez on the frontline at a roadblock to enforce curfew on Navajo Reservation.
On Monday evening, Navajo Police were checking for proof of essential work status for drivers and occupants. Drivers must have on their possession official identification and/or a letter of designation from their essential business employer on official letterhead which includes a contact for verification.
As the night progressed, President Nez received reports of very low traffic flow in several communities on the Navajo Nation.
Nez urged Navajo citizens to remind family and friends of the curfew and stay home as much as possible.
Roadblocks on the Navajo Nation to let tribal citizens the curfew will be enforced.
“Stay home, stay safe! We are doing our best to keep people safe, but the government can’t do everything and that’s why everyone needs to stay home as much as possible. Every person is responsible for taking precautions to preserve their own health. This curfew is an added measure to protect our Navajo people, especially our elderly and high-risk. Everyone should read the new order entirely,” President Nez said on Sunday when he announced the curfew.
Since you're here...
We believe everyone in Indian Country deserves equal access to news and commentary pertaining to them, their relatives and their communities. That's why 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 of $5 or more 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.