The Navajo Department of Health has identified 68 communities with uncontrolled spread of COVID-19 from Dec. 11 to Dec. 24, according to a news release.
The communities include Shiprock, Aneth, Crownpoint, Kayenta, Teec Nos Pos, Lukachukai, Nageezi, Tuba City, Cameron, Navajo Mountain and Round Rock, plus dozens of other towns.
On Sunday, the Navajo Department of Health, Navajo Epidemiology Center and the Navajo Area Indian Health Service, reported 122 new COVID-19 positive cases for the Navajo Nation and 10 more deaths.
The total number of deaths was 777 as of Sunday. Reports indicate that 11,402 people have recovered from COVID-19, and 197,876 COVID-19 tests have been administered. The total number of positive COVID-19 cases was 22,277 as of Sunday.
“This week, we see a very slight reduction in the number of communities with uncontrolled spread of COVID-19, but that does not mean that we let up our guard,” said Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez. “We won’t know the impact of the Christmas holiday for several more days, so we don’t know the full extent of exposure and new infections.”
Nez urged tribal members to “keep your guard up and continue to follow the recommendations of our public health experts. Please be safe and keep praying for our people and our communities.”
The Navajo Department of Health has extended the stay-at-home lockdown that requires everyone to remain home except for essential workers who have to report to work, for cases of emergencies, to pick up medication, to get food and water, and other essential activities.
The Navajo Department of Health issued Public Health Emergency Order No. 2020-032 on Thursday, which is effect through Jan. 11 with these provisions:
Extends the stay-at-home lockdown, which requires all residents to remain at home 24 hours per day, seven days a week, with the exceptions of essential workers who must report to work; emergency situations; to obtain essential food, medication and supplies; to tend to livestock; to exercise outdoors in the immediate vicinity of your home; to gather wood; and to haul with a permit. Reimplements 57-hour weekend lockdowns for two additional weekends that include: 8 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday and 8 p.m. Jan. 8 to 5 a.m. Jan. 11. Allows essential businesses including gas stations, grocery stores, laundromats, restaurants and food establishments that provide drive-thru and curbside services to operate from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays to Fridays only.Asks people to refrain from gathering with others outside their immediate household and requires all residents to wear a mask in public, avoid public gatherings, maintain physical distancing, remain in your vehicle for curbside and drive-thru services. “We understand that families want to gather during the holidays, but in order to protect our health and our loved ones, we have to be very cautious,” Nez said. “Please do not hold large in-person gatherings. The risks are far too high, and the consequences could risk your life or the lives of others. Please stay home, wear a mask, practice social distancing, avoid crowds and wash your hands with soap and warm water often.”
Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer also have extended the limitation of Navajo Nation government services through Jan. 10 because of the rise in COVID-19 cases.
“Our health care workers have never given up on fighting for us, so let’s do our very best to help them by staying home more often,” said Lizer. “The coronavirus only moves when we move, so let’s stay home as much as possible to help isolate COVID-19. Thank you to all of the first responders and health care workers who are working through the holidays for us.”
For more information, visit the Navajo Nation website.