Navajo Nation extends mandatory lockdown, hospitals in ‘crisis mode’ due to COVID-19

Coronavirus Updates

NAVAJO NATION (ABC4 News) — The Navajo Nation has announced that it will be extending its mandatory two-week lockdown for an additional three weeks as hospitals enter ‘crisis mode’ due to the rapid spread of COVID-19.

According to a news release, the Navajo Nation will now remain in a mandatory 24-7 lockdown until Dec. 28, three weeks past the ending date of their original mandatory lockdown of Dec. 7.

This lockdown will also include a 57-hour lockdown every weekend through Dec. 28, a news release said.

The Navajo Nation made the announcement after President Jonathan Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer hosted a virtual forum with several healthcare providers from the Navajo Nation.

In a news release, Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez said;

“We have been in a state of emergency since the pandemic began here on the Navajo Nation, but that has now elevated to a major health care crisis. Our health care experts are now saying that the current wave or surge is far more severe and troublesome than the wave that we saw in April and May, perhaps four or five times larger according to projections. Our medical experts on the front lines are pleading with all of our Navajo people to stay home as much as possible in order to reduce and isolate the spread of COVID-19. We have not yet seen the full extent of this second wave, but we do know that the severity of this second wave relies completely on our individual actions. Because of this unprecedented rise in COVID-19 cases, we are extending the stay-at-home lockdown for three additional weeks beyond Dec. 6 and it will include 57-hour weekend lockdowns every weekend through Dec. 28.,”

The details of the emergency health order are below:

·       Extends the Stay-At-Home Lockdown which requires all residents to remain at home 24-hours, seven days a week, with the exceptions of essential workers that must report to work, emergency situations, to obtain essential food, medication, and supplies, tend to livestock, outdoor exercising within the immediate vicinity of your home, wood gathering and hauling with a permit.

·       Re-implements full 57-hour weekend lockdowns for three additional weekends that include: 8:00 P.M. MST through 5:00 A.M. MST on December 11, 2020 through December 14, 2020, and for the same hours on December 18, 2020 through December 21, 2020 and December 25, 2020 through December 28, 2020.

·       Essential businesses including gas stations, grocery stores, laundromats, restaurants and food establishments that provide drive-thru and curbside services, and hay vendors can operate from 7:00 a.m. (MST) to 7:00 p.m., Monday through Friday only.

·       Refrain from gathering with individuals from outside your immediate household and requiring all residents to wear a mask in public, avoid public gatherings, maintain social (physical) distancing, remain in your vehicle for curb-side and drive-through services.

In addition to the guidelines listed in this health order, President Jonathan Nez also issued an executive order that will require the Navajo Nation government to remain closed through Sunday, Dec. 27, with the exception of essential businesses, a news release said.

According to a release, the Navajo Nation President and Vice President signed a letter on Thursday, requesting that President Trump and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), issue a major disaster declaration for the Navajo Nation.

The Navajo Nation has reported 17,310 COVID-19 cases and 663 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic.

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