Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

March 30, 2020

Navajo Nation cases of coronavirus rise to 128, new restrictions in place to curb spread

Coronavirus reports from Indian country: The Navajo Nation reports 128 cases and establishes new regulations and curfew; the first coronavirus was reported for the Tohono O'odham Nation; at least 11 cases reported in Lummi in Washington State, with Native American deaths on the Navajo Nation, two deaths, and one in Washington State and Oklahoma. Two cases were reported on Gila River in Arizona. Rosebud Lakotas in South Dakota have established a curfew and restrictions after cases reported there.  Indian Health Service statistics below show the most cases on the Navajo Nation, and in the IHS service agency regions of California (13) and Portland (14). In Canada, five cases are reported at Kahnawake. Below, Cheyenne River Lakota Chairman Harold Frazier shares a report from the region and local preparations. -- More news links on Facebook Brenda Norrell, Censored News.

Curfew takes effect for Navajo Nation as COVID-19 cases reach 128

By Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer
Censored News

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. — According to the Navajo Department of Health and Navajo Area Indian Health Service, in coordination with the Navajo Epidemiology Center, the number of positive tests for COVID-19 has reached a total of 128 for the Navajo Nation as of Sunday. There are two confirmed deaths related to COVID-19 as reported previously.

The 128 cases include the following counties:

Navajo County, AZ: 59

Apache County, AZ: 17 *changed due to clarification of one individual’s residency

Coconino County, AZ: 23

McKinley County, NM: 8

San Juan County, NM: 15

Cibola County, NM: 1

San Juan County, UT: 5

The Navajo Nation issued a new Public Health Order extending the current “Stay at Home Order” and implementing a curfew for the entire Navajo Nation that requires everyone to stay home from 8:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m., seven days a week. All individuals shall be at home during curfew hours except in the event of an emergency. This curfew does not apply to essential employees reporting to or from duty, with official identification and/or a letter of designation from their essential business employer on official letterhead which includes a contact for verification.

“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,” said President Nez.

“Washing your hands often, avoid direct person-to-person contact with others, and stay home – that’s how we begin to beat the virus. We don’t have enough doctors, nurses, first responders, hospital beds, ventilators, and other resources to treat everyone. We have to do our part by preventing the spread of the virus,” Vice President Lizer said.

The Public Health Order also outlines the following provisions for essential businesses:

· To the greatest extent possible, limit operations before 6:00 A.M. and after 7:00 P.M. to permit customers to obey the 8:00 P.M. to 5 A.M. curfew. This does not apply to Essential Businesses that do not directly serve customers.
· Restaurants and other businesses serving prepared food must provide an outdoor order station and/or a means for people to call ahead to place an order and enable individuals to remain in their vehicles for pick-up.
· Gas stations must either provide a fueling attendant to pump gas, enabling individuals to remain in their vehicles, or provide disinfectant wipes or spray for self-service customer use.
· Banks and financial institutions must provide drive-thru services only. Banker services can be provided to customers through technology-based means (i.e. telephone, web-based meeting, etc). ATM services may be provided so long as disinfectant wipes or spray are made available for customer use.
· Grocery stores, food banks, convenience stores, hardware stores and the like are required to limit the number of customers in the store to no more than 10 customers at a time. These businesses shall ensure that customers waiting to enter or pay maintain the required 6-feet Social Distancing.
· Post Offices, including rural mail delivery locations, are not required to provide curbside or drive-thru delivery requirements, however, disinfectant wipes or spray should be made available for customer use.
· Laundry facilities shall limit customer occupancy to 2 people per household and no more than 10 persons at any given time, and shall make available disinfectant wipes or spray for customer use.
· All other Essential Businesses not specifically addressed in this section shall post a notice at their place of business with a contact number for customers to receive service during business hours, and also provide contact information for services on their company website if any. The purpose of this requirement is to limit in-person customer contact to the greatest extent possible, while still allowing customers to receive services.

Lastly, the Public Health Order requires all Navajo Nation governmental entities, including all branches of government and all Governance-Certified Chapters, shall coordinate all COVID-19 public health efforts, plans, and relief through the Health Command Center to avoid duplication of effort or waste of resources, which has the potential to increase risk of exposure to COVID-19, including the potential loss of life.

For more information including reports, helpful prevention tips, and more resources, please visit the Navajo Department of Health’s COVID-19 website at To contact the main Navajo Health Command Operations Center, please call (928) 871-7014.


Below: Indian Health Service report on coronavirus cases. Note: Not all cases are shown. Numbers reflect that only about one-half of those tested have received results. -- Censored News.
New York Times updated coronavirus map March 30.

Below: Cheyenne River Lakota Chairman Harold Frazier reports on coronavirus in the region, and local preparations. Watch on Facebook.

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