The latest on the coronavirus pandemic

The Navajo Nation will implement stricter health measures for three weeks starting Monday as cases continue to rise, according to a press release issued Friday.

Two public health orders and one executive order were finalized Friday as the Navajo Nation saw nearly 900 new cases of Covid-19 within the last week, the release said.

More than 13,000 total coronavirus cases have been confirmed and 598 people have died in the Navajo Nation, according to the nation’s Covid-19 dashboard.

One of the orders requires all government offices and enterprises to close from November 16 through December 6, except for essential employees needed to maintain essential services and government functions, according to the release.

The order also requires all schools to go online for that time period, the release said.

A second order implements a three week stay at home lock down and will restrict any travel off of the Navajo Nation. Residents are allowed to leave their homes for emergencies or to get groceries, medicines, and firewood, according to the release.

Businesses deemed essential will be allowed to open from the hours of 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily. 

“We have to implement these public health measures to protect our Navajo people and reduce the spread of this virus,” Navajo National President Jonathan Nez said in the release.
“We are inching closer and closer to a major public health crisis in which we could potentially see our hospitals filling up with patients. Our health care system on the Navajo Nation cannot sustain a long-term surge in Covid-19 cases.”

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