Navajo Nation announced Friday that it will implement a three-week reservation lockdown amid an increase in coronavirus cases.
Navajo Nation mentioned 97 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, bringing the cumulative total to 13,897. The reservation recorded 598 deaths.
President Jonathan Neese said in a statement That 34 societies in the country have an “uncontrolled spread” of the virus, and he warned that their healthcare system could not withstand a long-term increase in infections.
“We are getting closer and closer to a major public health crisis in which we can see our hospitals filling up with patients,” said Nez. “Our Navajo Nation healthcare system cannot sustain a long-term increase in COVID19 cases. The safest place is home here on the Navajo Nation.”
Under the three-week lockdown, individuals can only leave their homes for emergencies or to carry out basic activities such as obtaining food or groceries, medicines and collecting firewood with permission. Individuals are also advised to refrain from traveling outside of their reservation, and not to gather with anyone outside their immediate home.
Primary companies, including gas stations, food establishments, laundries, and grocery stores, are allowed to operate between 7 am and 3 pm GMT daily. Food establishments can only operate for dock or auto services.
The lockdown will take effect on November 16 and will remain in effect until December 6.
The separate executive order will require the closure of government offices and institutions in the region during this period, except for those considered to be “essential employees”. Schools and early childhood programs will also move to online learning for that period.
The nation has implemented a 56-hour curfew on the weekend at 9 pm on Friday, which will run until 5 a.m. Muscat time on November 16.