Uncontrolled Spread of COVID-19: Navajo Nation identifies 53 problem communities

Coronavirus Updates

(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

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WINDOW ROCK, Ariz (ABC4) – The Navajo Department of Health has identified 53 communities with having an “uncontrolled spread of COVID-19 from Jan 8, 2021, to Jan 21, 2021.

A new emergency health order is now in effect.

In a reaction to the Department of Health the Navajo Nation leadership, President Johnathan Nez, and Vice President Myron Lizer have also added to the Health Advisory Notice with a new health order.

The advisory will stay in effect until the cases decline.

According to the releases sent to ABC4 the following communities are identified as areas of uncontrolled spread.

In this Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2020, photo provided by Johns Hopkins Center for American Indian Health, registered nurse Starla Garcia prepares a coronavirus vaccine in Chinle, Ariz., for someone who enrolled in the COVID-19 vaccine trials on the Navajo Nation and initially received a placebo. (Nina Mayer Ritchie/Johns Hopkins Center for American Indian Health via AP)
  • Alamo*
  • Baca/Prewitt
  • Bird Springs
  • Black Mesa
  • Bread Springs
  • Cameron
  • Casamero Lake
  • Chichiltah
  • Chinle C
  • hurchrock
  • Coyote Canyon
  • Crownpoint
  • Dennehotso
  • Ganado
  • Indian Wells
  • Iyanbito
  • Jeddito
  • Kaibeto
  • Kayenta
  • Lukachukai
  • Many Farms
  • Mariano Lake
  • Nahatadziil
  • Nahodishgish
  • Naschitti
  • Nazlini
  • Newcomb*
  • Pinedale Pinon
  • Red Rock*
  • Red Valley
  • Rock Point
  • Rock Springs
  • Sheepsprings
  • Shiprock
  • Shonto
  • Smith Lake
  • St. Michaels
  • Standing Rock
  • Tachee/Blue Gap
  • Teec Nos Pos
  • Teesto
  • Thoreau
  • Tohajiilee*
  • Tohatchi
  • Tonalea Tsaile/Wheatfields
  • Tsayatoh
  • Tselani/Cottonwood*
  • Tuba City
  • Twin Lakes
  • Upper Fruitland
  • Whippoorwill

* Chapters recently added to the list

“The Navajo people have once again brought down the numbers of new COVID-19 cases and we are seeing a flattening of the curve, but we are very concerned that we could see another surge in new cases due to the ongoing disbursement of Hardship Assistance checks. We’ve heard reports of people traveling to border towns and crowding stores. This is what our administration cautioned our people of. The more people travel and move about, the more the virus spreads. Please use the Hardship Assistance funds for essential items and services that help your family during this pandemic and please continue to stay home as much as possible,” shares Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez.

This photo provided by Johns Hopkins Center for American Indian Health shows a brochure that was used to provide information about a COVID-19 vaccine trial on the Navajo Nation, Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2020, in Chinle, Ariz. (Nina Mayer Ritchie/Johns Hopkins Center for American Indian Health via AP)

The release states the new Public Health Emergency Order took effect with the following provisions:

  • Extends the Stay-At-Home order requiring 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.
  • Implements a daily curfew from 9:00 p.m. (MST) until 5:00 a.m. (MST) seven days a week.
  • Essential businesses may operate between the hours of 7:00 a.m. (MST) and 8:00 p.m. (MST) daily, including gas stations, grocery stores, convenience stores, hardware stores, laundromats, restaurants, food establishments, banks, and similar financial institutions, and hay vendors, provided they comply with provisions outline in the order to help protect employees and the public from COVID-19.
  • 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.

“We strongly encourage all of our Navajo Nation residents to stay local and stay safe and that means shopping locally for essential items and services. Our administration has always promoted buy Navajo, buy local, and during this pandemic, it serves to help protect our people from COVID- 19 in addition to supporting Navajo businesses. Please do everything you can to protect yourselves and one another, especially our elders and those with underlying health conditions. We are in this fight together and we will overcome,” says Vice President Myron Lizer.

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