Weekend lockdowns, curfews extended
On Tuesday, the Navajo Department of Health issued a public health emergency order that extends the 32-hour weekend lockdowns and daily curfews through the month of September.
The weekend lockdowns begin on Saturdays at 9 p.m. and last until Mondays at 5 a.m. for the four weekends this month. The daily curfew is from 9 p.m. until 5 a.m.
This order is to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
All businesses must close during the lockdowns and curfews.
President Jonathan Nez said, “With the Labor Day weekend approaching, we have to remain focused and be diligent to avoid another surge in new COVID-19 cases. Our health care system cannot handle another surge.”
“As long as there is no vaccine available, there will remain substantial risk of contracting COVID-19,” Nez said. “We have to keep doing everything we can to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.”
The order also states that drive-in gatherings, including religious, are allowed during non-curfew hours only and organizers must ensure that participants remain in their vehicle except to use the restroom, vehicles must park at least six-feet apart, participants must wear masks at all times and maintain social distancing with no direct contact with others.
Organizers must also limit the number of people in a restroom to less than five people, ensure that people have access to hand-washing stations, sanitizer or gloves, and ensure that high-touch surfaces are regularly disinfected.
Farming activities and tending to livestock are permitted. Essential Employees reporting to or from duty are exempt from the weekend lockdowns but must carry official identification or a letter from their employer on official letterhead, which includes a contact name and number for verification.