The Hopi Tribe in Northeast Arizona last week issued a “red alert” for reservation-wide lockdown in response to rising Covid-19 infections.

All residents are encouraged to get vaccinated, work remotely when possible, wear a mask in public spaces, and limit travel. The tribe recommended schools re-open only if they can prove social distancing measures are in place.

Within the last two weeks, there were close to 300 active cases, about half of which tested positive the past week alone.

Red alert status is meant to convey the “seriousness of the pandemic…due to the alarming rate of COVID-19 cases,” according to the tribe’s Public Health Authority Royce Jenkins. “It is going on three years and we all must do our part to continue to be on the defense and offense combating COVID-19,” he wrote in the alert issued Jan. 14.

Though 91 percent of eligible tribal members are vaccinated, The Hopi Health Department reported just over 63 million positive covid cases nationally as of last Thursday, 1.5 million of which are in the state of Arizona.


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