WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. — The stay-at-home lockdown has been extended by Navajo Nation officials as the Covid-19 cases continue to grow on the nation’s largest Indian reservation.

“Our health care providers are pleading with everyone to stay home, wear a mask, practice social distancing, avoid gatherings, and to wash your hands often,” Navajo Nation Jonathan Nez said.

On Monday, the Navajo Department of Health, in coordination with the Navajo Epidemiology Center and the Navajo Area Indian Health Service, reported 213 new COVID-19 positive cases for the Navajo Nation and 15 more deaths. The total number of deaths is now 682 as of Monday. Reports indicate that 10,045 individuals have recovered from COVID-19, and 172,712 COVID-19 tests have been administered. The total number of positive COVID-19 cases is now 18,163, including 35 delayed reported cases. 

Navajo Nation COVID-19 positive cases by Service Unit:

  • Chinle Service Unit: 3,608
  • Crownpoint Service Unit: 1,969
  • Ft. Defiance Service Unit: 1,881
  • Gallup Service Unit: 3,022
  • Kayenta Service Unit: 1,857
  • Shiprock Service Unit: 2,888
  • Tuba City Service Unit: 1,828
  • Winslow Service Unit: 1,089

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

On Monday, the state of New Mexico reported 1,872 new cases of COVID-19, the state of Utah reported 2,231 cases, and Arizona reported 1,567. 

“I offer my condolences and prayers to the 15 families that lost a loved one. All across the country, people are losing their lives to this virus, but we have to keep fighting this pandemic together,” Nez said. “The Navajo Nation is working with Navajo Area IHS and FEMA to request and secure more medical personnel through the federal government to provide some level of relief to our health care providers. The Navajo Department of Health is also working to expand isolation sites to help slow the spread of the virus. We have to continue to be optimistic, but also recognize the reality and dangers of COVID-19 in order to caution our people. We are hopeful that a safe vaccine is approved soon, so that the Navajo Area IHS can begin the process of distribution, but it will take quite some time to have it widely available.”

On Monday, the Navajo Nation’s latest public health emergency order went into effect for the next three weeks, which include the following provisions:

  • Extends the Stay-At-Home Lockdown which requires all residents to remain at home 24-hours, seven days a week, with the exceptions of essential workers that must report to work, emergency situations, to obtain essential food, medication, and supplies, tend to livestock, outdoor exercising within the immediate vicinity of your home, wood gathering and hauling with a permit.
  • Re-implements full 57-hour weekend lockdowns for three additional weekends that include: 8:00 P.M. MST through 5:00 A.M. MST on December 11, 2020 through December 14, 2020, and for the same hours on December 18, 2020 through December 21, 2020 and December 25, 2020 through December 28, 2020.
  • Essential businesses including gas stations, grocery stores, laundromats, restaurants and food establishments that provide drive-thru and curbside services, and hay vendors can operate from 7:00 a.m. (MST) to 7:00 p.m., Monday through Friday only.
  • Refrain from gathering with individuals from outside your immediate household and requiring all residents to wear a mask in public, avoid public gatherings, maintain social (physical) distancing, remain in your vehicle for curb-side and drive-through services.

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: http://www.ndoh.navajo-nsn.gov/COVID-19. For COVID-19 related questions and information, call (928) 871-7014.

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Author: Native News Online Staff