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.