Tough Times on the Navajo Nation
By The Associated Press, 4/29/2020
Residents on the Navajo Nation will be under another lockdown this weekend as the tribe seeks to keep the coronavirus from spreading even further into communities.
The lockdown is the fourth the tribe has implemented. It comes around the first of the month when tribal members often travel to towns bordering the reservation to shop for food and other supplies.
Tribal officials say they are working with businesses on the reservation to create safeguards for Navajo elders, such as extending shopping hours exclusively for them and others who are at high risk for contracting the coronavirus.
Anyone who doesn't need to leave their homes for food, medicine or in the case of an emergency is being told to stay home.
“We don’t want to see any more lives lost, and we don’t want to see our Diné people sick," Vice President Myron Lizer said. "It's sad and it's devastating for many families.”
The weekend lockdown starts Friday at 8 p.m. MDT and ends Monday at 5 a.m. MDT.
As of Tuesday, the tribe’s health officials reported 1,873 positive cases of COVID-19 and 60 deaths. The 27,000 square-mile (70,000 square-kilometer) reservation stretches into Arizona, New Mexico and Utah. 4/29/2020
Per-Capita, the Navajo Nation is just behind New York and New Jersey in the amount of people testing positive. FEMA has set up field hospitals in Chinle and Shiprock that will be operational by this weekend.
- Beth Barth