WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. — Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez confirmed that the Navajo Nation now has 69 confirmed coronavirus cases, a jump of 20 in a single day.
President Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer announced a "Stay At Home" Order on Saturday for the nation in response to the international pandemic.
The order requires all residents of the Navajo Nation to remain home and isolated and all non-essential businesses to close to attempt to prevent the spread of the virus.
A previous "shelter-in-place" order was in effect for the community of Chilchinbeto, and has now been expanded to the entire Navajo Nation.
On Friday, the number of confirmed cases was 14.
President Jonathan Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer issued a joint statement asking people to stay at home and "and let the health care and emergency experts do their jobs."
People are being asked to not leave their homes unless it is for groceries, medications, medical appointments, emergencies or to care for livestock.
“This is not a time for panic. Although there is an increase in positive tests for COVID-19, there are also a large number of people who have tested negative and some who are recovering," Lizer said.
"Please remain watchful over family members and follow official instructions so as not to create panic and please respect our first responders, health care workers, Health Command Operations Center and many other experts as they handle the situation."
The majority of the cases involved individuals who initially reported their symptoms to the Kayenta IHS Service Unit and others who went to the Chinle Health Care Facility and Northern Navajo Medical Center, the statement reads.
The Navajo Health Command Operations Center issued a Public Health Emergency Order requiring the Chilchinbeto community to “shelter-in-place" for at least 15 days. The order could potentially apply to the entire Navajo Nation if the reports become widespread, Nez said in the statement.
Care packages will be available to the Chilchinbeto community for those in need. Elderly and high-risk residents will be first priority.
Questions from the public may be directed to the Navajo Health Command Operations Center at (928) 871-7014. For questions from members of the Chilchinbeto community, call (928) 871-6271.
If a person has symptoms related to the COVID-19 coronavirus, please contact your local health care center prior to your arrival to a hospital facility:
Chinle Comprehensive Health Care Facility
Crownpoint Health Care Facility
Fort Defiance Indian Hospital Board, INC
Gallup Indian Medical Center
Kayenta Health Center
Northern Navajo Medical Center
Tuba City Regional Health Care
Utah Navajo Health System
Winslow Indian Health Care Center
Arizona Poison and Drug Information Center
New Mexico Coronavirus Hotline