Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights 2020

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Navajo Nation: Coronavirus cases climb to 384 with 15 deaths, weekend lockdown announced





Navajo Nation: 30 new positive cases of COVID-19, 2,134 total negative results


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


WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. — The total number of positive tests for COVID-19 has reached 384 for the Navajo Nation as of Monday – an increase of 30 positive cases since Sunday, according to the Navajo Department of Health and Navajo Area Indian Health Service, in coordination with the Navajo Epidemiology Center. There is now a total of 15 confirmed deaths related to COVID-19. There is a total of 2,134 negative results as of Monday.

The 384 confirmed positive cases include the following counties: Navajo County, AZ: 156;
Apache County, AZ: 37; Coconino County, AZ: 102; McKinley County, NM: 23; San Juan County, NM: 49; Cibola County, NM: 8San Juan County, UT: 7; Socorro County, NM: 2.

“COVID-19 cases and deaths are growing at a very alarming rate on the Navajo Nation. This weekend, we are initiating a 57-hour mandatory curfew because many people aren’t abiding by the stay at home order. Police will issue citations, fines, and detain people if they don’t abide by the order,” said Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez, who also noted that essential personal including first responders are exempted from the weekend curfew.

On April 1, the Nez-Lizer Administration led “Operation First of the Month” to allow for special store hours at Bashas’ Diné Market locations for Navajo elders to shop for essential items, which will allow the elderly population to remain home during this weekend’s curfew.

“We’re in this fight together, but we have to be united if we want to beat the virus sooner than later. The longer the public chooses not to comply with staying home, the longer we’re going to be in this situation and the more risk that is posed to everyone. We know we’re going to beat the virus through the hard work of everyone and with our prayers,” said Vice President Myron Lizer.

President Nez continues to urge the general public to use protective masks, including homemade masks, and protective gloves if they are required to work or when going to stores for essential items such as food and medicine.

The Navajo Nation’s daily curfew remains in effect from 8:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. The 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 contract for verification.

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

Navajo Nation to initiate 57-hour weekend curfew to fight COVID-19


WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. — On April 5, the Navajo Department of Health issued Public Health Emergency Order 2020-005, implementing a 57-hour weekend curfew beginning at 8:00 p.m. (MDT) on Friday, April 10, to 5:00 a.m. (MDT) on Monday, April 13 to slow the spread of the Dikos Nstaaígíí-19 (COVID-19) on the Navajo Nation.

“The public health emergency order is intended to restrict the movement of Navajo citizens during the full weekend curfew. We are seeing way too many people contract the virus and we need to step up measures to begin to reduce the numbers. Our health care system cannot manage the growing numbers of patients and those who need to be admitted. We continue to receive reports of people on the road and traveling with families to nearby border towns,” said Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez.

The emergency order states that all individuals on the Navajo Nation shall comply with the weekend curfew, and failure to comply will result in a citation and fine. In addition, the Navajo Police Department will increase checkpoints along roadways across the Navajo Nation to further enforce the “Stay at Home Order” and curfew.

“The weekend curfew helps to combat the virus. We need to take it upon ourselves to protect our families, our grandparents, and our vulnerable people. Their immune system is not as strong as most young people and this measure helps to protect them. The latest virus projections show that we have not reached the peak, or the highest number of cases, so please stay home and abide by the curfew order," said Vice President Myron Lizer.

The emergency order further states that individuals are to remain home during the curfew, except in the event of an emergency. The weekend curfew does not apply to essential employees, including medical providers and first responders, which are required to show proof of official identification or letter of designation from their essential business employer on official letterhead. Other essential businesses are encouraged to limit operations during the curfew.

On April 1, the Nez-Lizer Administration led “Operation First of the Month” to allow for special store hours at Bashas’ Diné Market locations for Navajo elders to shop for essential items, which will allow the elderly population to remain home during this weekend’s curfew.

During a live town hall on Sunday, President Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer continued to urge and plea for Navajo citizens to stay home and to use protective masks, including homemade masks, and protective gloves, when they leave their homes to slow the spread of the virus.

The Navajo Nation’s daily curfew remains in effect from 8:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. The 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.

For more information, including reports, helpful prevention tips, and more resources, please visit the Navajo Department of Health's COVID-19 website at http://www.ndoh.navajo-nsn.gov/COVID-19. To contact the main Navajo Health Command Operations Center, please call (928) 871-7014.


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