PRESS RELEASE – Navajo Times closes for 2 weeks due to coronavirus
WINDOW ROCK – The Navajo Times Publishing Company Inc. will close its doors for 14 days beginning today (Friday, June 19) due to the coronavirus pandemic. According to CEO/Publisher Tommy Arviso Jr., the Navajo Times newspaper will not be printed for the next two weeks, the June 25 and July 2 issues. The Navajo Times will, however publish, the regular online E-edition during those two weeks and post daily articles on its website (navajotimes.com). Arviso said, “Two members of our Navajo Times team tested positive for the coronavirus on Thursday and so we immediately went into a 14-day quarantine to protect our staff, our newspaper carriers and all of our customers and clients. “All of our staff have been tested and we will wait until all of the results have been received,” he said. “As a result of the testing, it is most important that we follow proper protocol and adhere to the 14-day quarantine period, as advised by the CDC.” According to Arviso, all staff will work remotely during the next two weeks so that readers of the Navajo Times will still get a newspaper on Thursday but it will be online and not a printed copy. “We intend to continue to provide quality journalism, advertising, legal notices and classified advertising,” said Arviso. “It’s just that we will publish all of that information in an online issue. We’ve never missed a publishing date but we have been delayed a few times in the past due to mechanical or press issues. “This time we around we are ensuring that we do everything we can to keep our employees and customers safe and that includes not printing for two weeks,” said Arviso. “The coronavirus pandemic is a serious issue that we do not take lightly. We have been quite fortunate up to now that we have had no positive results among our staff. We will continue to be safe in all that we do here at work.” Duane Beyal, editor of the Navajo Times, said this is a special kind of emergency that requires everyone to pull together and support one another.
“Not publishing a newspaper you can hold in your hands goes against everything I’ve been trained to do,” Beyal said. “But this us a unique time in history and a threat from which we must protect our workers and customers.”
Arviso explained that the Navajo Times office will be completely cleaned and sanitized on Saturday by a professional cleaning company. The staff will return to their office on July 6, after the conclusion of the July 4th holiday. For questions or more information on business, advertising and circulation issues, contact Arviso at 928-309-9447. For news and coverage, contact Beyal at 928-205-3185. “I hope that all of our readers, advertisers and the general public understand our situation here and that they continue to be safe and healthy in their private and public lives,” said Arviso. “The coronavirus is not going to go away for a long time and so we all need to do our part to support and protect one another by staying safe, at home and at work or school.”