Navajo Nation reports 68 communities with ‘uncontrollable spread’ of COVID-19

Dec 28, 2020, 2:02 PM
Navajo uncontrollable spread...
A hand-painted sign points the way to the Chilchinbeto Church of the Nazarene in Chilchinbeto, Ariz., on the Navajo reservation at sunrise on Sunday, April 19, 2020. The Navajo reservation has some of the highest rates of coronavirus in the country. If Navajos are susceptible to the virus' spread in part because they are so closely knit, that's also how many believe they will beat it. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

WINDOW ROCK, Arizona — Since March, and the beginning of the global COVID-19 pandemic, the Navajo Nation has implemented many restrictions to curb the spread of COVID-19 within its communities. These efforts include travel restrictions and lockdowns.

But as of Monday, the Navajo Department of Health (NDOH) reports that 68 of its communities are experiencing an ‘uncontrollable spread’ of the virus.

That number represents a slight dip as compared to last week, so Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez is warning residents not to let their guard down. 

“We won’t know the impact of the Christmas holiday for several more days, so we don’t know the full extent of exposure and new infections,” said President Nez. “Keep your guard up and continue to follow the recommendations of our public health experts.”

Efforts to stop the ‘uncontrollable spread’ among Navajo Nation communities 

The NDOH has extended the stay-at-home lockdown through Jan. 11, 2021. 

“That requires everyone to remain home unless you are an essential worker who has to report to work, for cases of emergencies, to pick-up medication, to get food and water, and other essential activities,” said President Nez.

Other lockdown measures include: 

  • Residents to stay home 24-hours a day, with the exception of tending to livestock, outdoor exercising within the immediate vicinity of your home, wood gathering, and hauling with a permit;
  • 57-hour weekend lockdowns, from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. during the period of Jan. 1 to Jan. 4 and Jan. 8 to Jan. 11. 
  • Essential businesses can only operate from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays. 
  • Residents to refrain from gatherings outside of their household and require masks to be worn in public. 

Additionally, Navajo Nation governmental services are limited through Jan. 10, 2021. 

“Our health care workers have never given up on fighting for us, so let’s do our very best to help them by staying home more often,” said Navajo Nation Vice President Myron Lizer. 

“The coronavirus only moves when we move, so let’s stay home as much as possible to help isolate COVID-19. Thank you to all of the first responders and health care workers who are working through the holidays for us.”

“Please be safe and keep praying for our people and our communities,” a statement from President Nez concluded. 

For more information on COVID-19 among the Navajo Nation, visit here or call (928) 871-7014. 


How To Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 Coronavirus

COVID-19 coronavirus spreads person to person, similar to the common cold and the flu. So, to prevent it from spreading:

  • Wash hands frequently and thoroughly, with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds.
  • Don’t touch your face.
  • Wear a mask to protect yourself and others per CDC recommendations.
  • Keep children and those with compromised immune systems away from someone who is coughing or sneezing (in this instance, at least six feet).
  • If there is an outbreak near you, practice social distancing (stay at home, instead of going to the movies, sports events, or other activities).
  • Get a flu shot.

Local resources

KSL Coronavirus Q&A 

Utah’s Coronavirus Information 

Utah State Board of Education

Utah Hospital Association

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Utah Coronavirus Information Line – 1-800-456-7707

National Resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Commonly asked questions, World Health Organization

Cases in the United States


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Navajo Nation reports 68 communities with ‘uncontrollable spread’ of COVID-19