WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. – Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer urge Navajo residents to stay home and celebrate upcoming holidays, including Halloween, at home with household members to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.
The Navajo Department of Health further advises Navajo Nation residents to avoid in-person gatherings and activities to protect elders, vulnerable populations, and families.
Public health officials strongly advise against in-person gatherings and activities, such as door-to-door trick-or-treating, in-person costume contests, large dinner parties with non-household members, haunted houses, and fall carnivals. Currently public health emergency orders prohibit in-person gatherings of five or more people.
“The number of COVID-19 cases is rising once again on the rise on the Navajo Nation. We are in a challenging situation right now, but we can prevent the further spread of the virus. If we have people gathering or traveling off the Nation during the holidays, the number of COVID-19 cases will quickly multiply even more. Since March, we have been fighting this invisible monster known as COVID-19, and we need to step up precautionary measures to protect our elders, children, and those with underlying health conditions. Our health care system cannot handle another large surge within a short amount of time. Please be aware and celebrate Halloween safely at home with your children,” Nez said.
On Oct. 29, the Navajo Department of Health, in coordination with the Navajo Epidemiology Center and the Navajo Area Indian Health Service, reported 130 new COVID-19 positive cases for the Navajo Nation. On Thursday, the state of New Mexico reported a record-high of 1,082 new cases of COVID-19, the state of Arizona reported 1,315 new cases, and Utah reported 1,837.
The Navajo Nation will have a 56-hour weekend lockdown beginning on Friday, Oct. 30 at 9 p.m. (MDT) until Monday, Nov. 2 at 5 a.m. (MDT).
Alternative Halloween activities at home with family you live with, please no in-person visitors, include the following:
• Virtual Contest – Participate in community virtual Halloween contests
• Game night – Board games, craft night, or pumpkin carving
• Zoom Parties – Host a Zoom party with friends and family complete with games, scary stories, or costume contest
• Scary Movie Night – Watch fear-filled favorite Halloween movies
• Spooky Pics – Share costume, décor, and Halloween food pictures on social media
• In-home Trick-or-Treating – Get creative! Allow kids to go from one candy station to another throughout the house or yard
• Spooky Cookoff – Explore Halloween themed treats and foods to make with your family
• Dinner Theater – Wear your costume, and become the costume during dinner
• Scavenger Hunt House – Create different theme rooms throughout the house or yard and send kids on a scavenger hunt for candy and treats
• Halloween Karaoke – Have a spooky Karaoke night with awards
• Halloween Piñata – Have a piñata as the grand finale for your Halloween party
“While celebrating Halloween at home, it is also important to continue to practice all preventative measures, such as wearing a mask, staying six-feet away from people as much as possible, washing and sanitizing your hands, cleaning and disinfecting high-touched surfaces and objects, cleaning all Halloween snacks, and avoiding having visitors at home,” Lizer said.
For more information and tips for the upcoming holidays from the Centers for Disease Control, please visit: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/holidays.html.