aspen_banner.jpg
Arizona Public Radio | Your Source for NPR News
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

Hopi Tribe returns to heightened COVID-19 restrictions amid dramatic omicron-driven surge

Hopi Health Care Center
Hopi Health Care Center
/
The Hopi Tribe has again tightened public health restrictions on the reservation amid a major surge in COVID-19 cases.

The Hopi Tribe has again tightened public health restrictions on the reservation amid a major surge in COVID-19 cases. As in nearly all parts of the U-S, it’s being driven by the highly transmissible omicron variant.

The order comes amid a dramatic uptick in COVID infections on Hopi. According to the tribe, there were nearly 300 confirmed active positive cases on the reservation last week. By comparison, during last year’s winter spike, the tribe was recording between five and 25 new known infections per week on average.

Hopi Chairman Timothy Nuvangyaoma and Vice Chairman Craig Andrews signed the order last week returning the tribe to phase 2 restrictions. Hopi leaders lifted the orders last April as cases declined to near zero.

The new order requires masks to be worn in all public facilities and buildings, common areas and outdoor locations. It also discourages tourism and visitation and directs tribal police officers and health professionals to perform welfare checks on some tribal members.

In addition, the order recommends that Hopi businesses restrict capacity to half and implement screening for staff along with cleaning and disinfecting protocols. It’ll remain in place until March 13.

More than 90% of eligible Hopi tribal members have been fully vaccinated against COVID.

Ryan joined KNAU's newsroom in 2013. He covers a broad range of stories from local, state and tribal politics to education, economy, energy and public lands issues, and frequently interviews internationally known and regional musicians. Ryan is an Edward R. Murrow Award winner and a frequent contributor to NPR.