Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez delivers the state of the nation speech at the summer session for the Navajo National Council in Window Rock, Arizona on July 15, 2019. Noel Lyn Smith / The Daily Times / Imagn / USA Today
According to a press release released on Friday, the Navajo nation will take stricter health measures for three weeks starting Monday as cases continue to rise.
Two public health orders and one executive order were finalized on Friday as the Navajo nation recorded nearly 900 new cases of Covid-19 in the past week.
More than 13,000 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 is that all government agencies and businesses must be closed from November 16 to December 6, except for essential employees who are required to maintain essential services and government functions.
The order also requires all schools to go online for that period, the press release said.
A second order provides a three-week home lock and restricts all travel outside of the Navajo nation. Residents are allowed to leave their homes for emergencies or to get food, medicine and firewood.
Companies that are deemed essential are allowed to open from 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. daily.
“We need to implement these public health measures to protect our Navajo people and reduce the spread of this virus,” said Jonathan Nez, National President of Navajo, in the press release.
“We are getting closer to a major public health crisis where our hospitals could potentially fill up with patients. Our healthcare system in the Navajo Nation cannot withstand long-term surge in Covid-19 cases.”