Navajo Nation - Office of the President and Vice President
On Thursday, the Navajo Department of Health issued Public Health Emergency Order 2020-019, which implements a partial weekend lockdown for the next four weekends in August, starting Saturday, Aug. 8, 2020 beginning at 9:00 P.M. (MDT) to Monday, Aug. 10, 2020 at 5:00 A.M. (MDT), and continuing for the weekends of August 15- 17, 2020, August 22-24, 2020, and August 29-31, 2020. The new order also changes the daily curfew hours from 9:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. (MDT).
According to the Department of Health government offices in neighboring states, the number of new cases of COVID-19 are on a downward trajectory during the previous seven days and hospitalization capacity is lower than the 80-percent threshold. Similarly, the Navajo Nation’s new COVID-19 case trends have declined, and the percent of positive COVID-19 tests is less than 10-percent, and hospitalization capacity remains below the 80-percent threshold. Health experts advice that Navajo Nation residents continue to adhere to all public health orders to avoid another spike in new cases.
“Here on the Navajo Nation, we’ve gone 42 consecutive days with less than 100 positive COVID-19 cases being reported daily, but we also recognize that the virus still presents substantial risk to our communities. That risk is elevated even more when we have our citizens traveling off the Navajo Nation, visiting family and friends and going into public often. Until there is a safe vaccine in place, we will continue to face this modern-day monster. The 32-hour weekend lockdown presents an opportunity for everyone to prepare for the upcoming winter season by gathering fire wood, water, food, and other necessities that will be needed,” said Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez.
All businesses including all stores, gas stations, restaurants, drive-thru food establishments, hay and all other vendors are required to cease operations and close during the partial weekend lockdowns and daily curfew hours.
Individuals are permitted to conduct farming activities and tend to livestock, however, livestock owners must plan ahead to purchase hay and feed – hay vendors will not be allowed to sell during the partial weekend lockdowns and daily curfew hours. Essential Employees reporting to or from duty are exempted from the Weekend Lockdown but must carry official identification or a letter of designation from their employer on official letterhead which includes a contact name and number for verification.
“It’s critical that people plan and prepare ahead of time for the partial weekend lockdowns and daily curfews. We will continue to assess the daily number of cases and listen to the health care experts to determine if more public health orders are needed down the road. Please continue to pray for our first responders, those recovering from COVID-19, and those who are grieving for their loved ones. We will overcome this pandemic together,” said Vice President Myron Lizer.
Public Health Emergency Order 2020-019 also outlines more provisions for curbside and drive-thru businesses, grocery stores, gas stations, laundry facilities, and drive-in gatherings during non-curfew hours. To view the entire Public Health Emergency Order, please click HERE.