9:32 PM PRESS RELEASE – 26 new cases and two more deaths related to COVID-19 reported, first of the month precautions in place
WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. — According to the Navajo Department of Health and Navajo Area Indian Health Service, in coordination with the Navajo Epidemiology Center, the number of positive tests for COVID-19 has reached a total of 174 for the Navajo Nation as of Tuesday. In addition, there are now a total of seven confirmed deaths related to COVID-19.
The 174 cases include the following counties:
Navajo County, AZ: 85
Apache County, AZ: 17
Coconino County, AZ: 40
McKinley County, NM: 10
San Juan County, NM: 15
Cibola County, NM: 1
San Juan County, UT: 6
“We are very sorry to hear of the loss of more lives due to the virus – we offer our prayers for the families of those who lost loved ones. In a few parts of the country, they are beginning to see a slight decline in new cases and it’s due to more and more residents staying home and practicing social distancing. Here on the Navajo Nation, we need everyone to fully grasp the importance of social distancing and the impact it has on fighting the spread of COVID-19. It’s completely up to us as individuals to do our part to beat the virus,” said Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez.
President Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer, in coordination with the Division of Economic Development and the Navajo Health Command Operations Center, announced that 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.
“We know that many elders need to purchase essential items on the first of the month, but we want them to take every precaution possible to keep themselves and others safe. We have a team that will be out at every grocery store on the Navajo Nation to help these efforts. We continue to pray for our Navajo people and health care workers each day,” stated Vice President Lizer.
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.
On Tuesday, President Nez and Vice President Lizer continued to work with Federal Emergency Management Agency – Region 9 officials in Chinle, Ariz. to assess the best locations for federal medical stations. FEMA recently delivered beds, PPE’s, and other equipment to Chinle for the possible housing of patients.
The Navajo Nation’s daily curfew remains in effect from 8:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. The curfew does not apply to essential employees reporting to or from duty, with official identification and/or a letter of designation from their essential business employer on official letterhead which includes a contact for verification.
The Public Health Order outlines provisions for essential businesses as well. Everyone is encouraged to read the entire Public Health Order, which is available on the Navajo Department of Health website at: http://www.ndoh.navajo-nsn.gov/COVID-19.