Basha’s extends hours for elders, 6 am – 1 pm, on April 1

PRESS RELEASE – Navajo Nation and Bashas’ Diné Markets extends “Elderly Shopping” hours ‪on April 1

WINDOW ROCK – Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez, Vice President Myron Lizer, and the Division of Economic Development announced that all Bashas’ Diné Markets on the Navajo Nation will extend their elderly shopping hours ‪from 6:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on April 1 to reduce the risk of COVID-19 exposure and to provide the opportunity for elders to shop for essential items.

“The Elderly Shopping Day is intended to keep our precious elders safe and close to home while they shop for essentials, such as groceries, household items, and livestock supplies. We thank the Bashas’ owners and management for working together with us to help our Navajo people. As leaders, we need to assist our elders during this Dikos Nstaaígíí-19, COVID-19, pandemic. The virus is dangerous for our elders and individuals with underlying health conditions. Having our elders shop locally will reduce less travel to border towns and decrease the risk of exposure,” said President Nez.

Participating in Bashas’ Diné Markets include:

· Chinle Bashas’

· Dilkon Bashas’

· Kayenta Bashas’

· Piñon Bashas’

· Sanders Bashas’

· Tuba City Bashas’

· Window Rock Bashas’

· Crownpoint Bashas’

Each store location will have informational and food distribution sites for elders that were coordinated by the Navajo Department of Health, Navajo Nation Division of Social Services, and the Navajo Nation Division of Economic Development. There will also be law enforcement presence to help regulate the flow of traffic.

“We commend the Bashas’ corporation and all the Navajo Executive divisions and departments for working collaboratively to create this opportunity to protect our elders. Many of our elders face challenges every day, and many live in rural areas with little food and supplies. This opportunity will allow elders time to shop for essentials in a comfortable setting, and they will also get a chance to hear recommendations and guidelines on how to shop safely,” said Vice President Lizer.

Also, consider the following guidelines to shop safely:

· Prepare in advance. Create a list of the food and household items you will need for approximately 14 days. Include fruits and vegetables that support your health and immune system. Bring sanitizing wipes and sanitizer with you to the store.

· Only one person in the household should travel for grocery shopping. Do not take the whole family. People who are sick should stay home.

· Sanitize shopping cart and basket handles. Use hand sanitizer or wash your hands immediately after checking out, especially if you touched a screen for payment. Also, sanitize your debit cards or cash that was exchanged.

· Limit your time in the store as much as possible. Start on one end of the store and make your way to the other end. Remember to stay 6 to 8 feet away from other shoppers. Avoid aisles with more than ten people.

· Shop with your eyes, not your fingers. Avoid moving anything and use your eyes to make the best judgment. Do not hoard. Unless you’re shopping for dozens of people, buying a year’s worth of food may not only lead to waste, but it will also make it harder for others to feed their families.

· When you get home, scrub hard-skinned produce with a little bit of soap and warm water. Fruits and leafy veggies can be soaked for about 15 minutes in soapy water. Rinse all produce. Wipe all other plastic and boxed foods carefully with sanitizer wipes or soap and warm water.

“We strongly encourage people to stay home and stay safe. One family member should be doing the shopping and conducting essential errands. This is for the safety and well-being of all Navajo citizens, and together we can combat the spread of the coronavirus if we comply with the Public Health Orders,” added President Nez.

On Sunday, The Navajo Nation issued a new Public Health Order extending the current “Stay at Home Order” and implementing a curfew for the entire Navajo Nation that requires everyone to stay home ‪from 8:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m., seven days a week. All individuals shall be at home during curfew hours except in the event of an emergency. This curfew does not apply to essential employees reporting to or from duty, with official identification and/or a letter of designation from their necessary business employer on official letterhead, which includes a contact for verification.

For more information regarding the Navajo Nation Elderly Shopping Day, please contact the Division of Economic Development at ‪(928) 979-5208or the Office of the President and Vice President at ‪(928) 871-7000.

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