Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights 2020

Saturday, April 11, 2020

Navajo Nation Coronavirus Rapid Spread: 597 cases, 22 deaths, with 57-hour curfew underway



39 new positive cases of COVID-19, 2,705 total negative tests reported

By Navajo President's Office
Censored News

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. — The total number of positive tests for COVID-19 has reached 597 for the Navajo Nation as of Friday – an increase of 39 positive cases since Thursday, according to the Navajo Department of Health and Navajo Area Indian Health Service, in coordination with the Navajo Epidemiology Center. The report also indicates that there is now a total of 2,705 negative test results as of Friday. There remains a total of 22 confirmed deaths related to COVID-19 as previously reported.




The 597 confirmed positive cases include the following counties:

· Navajo County, AZ: 234
· Apache County, AZ: 61
· Coconino County, AZ: 134
· McKinley County, NM: 63
· San Juan County, NM: 82
· Cibola County, NM: 11
· San Juan County, UT: 10
· Socorro County, NM: 2

"As we enter the implementation of the 57-hour curfew and the Navajo Nation Family Prayer Weekend, let us be safe in joining with our loved ones as we ask God for blessings and protection upon our families, friends, and our communities. With the number of positive cases rising, it’s imperative that we make smart decisions to protect the ones we love. Please think of our grandmothers and grandfathers and those with underlying conditions. Let us also remember that we as DinĂ© are strong, our ancestors overcame many atrocities, for us to be here today – let’s honor their sacrifices by making good decisions,” said President Nez.

The leaders issued a proclamation declaring April 10-13, 2020, as "Navajo Nation Family Prayer Weekend," in observance of Good Friday and Easter and to encourage families to pray together for family members, neighbors, health care workers, governing officials, and those who are sick, and the families who have lost loved ones due to COVID-19 on the Navajo Nation.

“During Navajo Nation Family Prayer Weekend, we will pray for all of our DinĂ© people especially those who are fighting COVID-19, those on the frontlines, and all for everyone who is worried about their loved ones. We are with you, please don’t think that you are alone – we are in this together. There is light at the end of the tunnel and we will reach the light together,” said Vice President Lizer.

The Navajo Nation’s 57-hour curfew takes effect on Friday at 8:00 p.m. until Monday at 5:00 a.m., with the exception of essential employees who are required to have documentation from their employer. Navajo Police will strictly enforce the curfew order by issuing citations that may include a fine up to $1,000 and/or 30 days in jail. 

Church meeting in Ganado not authorized during curfew

President Jonathan Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer were made aware of growing concerns over a reported church gathering in the community of Ganado, Arizona. Unfortunately, they were informed this evening that the church gathering did take place. The Office of the President and Vice President did not authorize the gathering.

Over the last several days, President Nez and Vice President Lizer have been in contact with faith-based organizations to ensure that no in-person gatherings occur due to COVID-19 risks. However, they do encourage participation in church services offered through the internet, television, radio, and other safe means of communication.
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.



In the news:

Nez said Friday told Law 360, “the multigenerational people who live under one roof is [a] contributing factor of the spread. What we're trying to do here on Navajo is put in place isolation sites, quarantine sites, so if someone were to test positive they would have somewhere to go.

"The other factor in Indian Country is we are a social people, right?" Nez continued. "Shaking hands, hugging is part of our culture and part of showing respect to one another. And we have family gatherings. Not just the immediate families but extended families, clans."

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