Mask mandate lifted on Navajo Nation

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Newly-elected Navajo Nation President Buu Nygren announced Friday evening that the COVID-19 mask mandate on the Navajo Nation has been lifted.

The public health emergency order applies to public spaces, which include the 110 chapters, according to the Navajo Office of Environmental Health and Protection.

“It’s time for the Navajo people to get back to work,” Nygren said. “It’s time for them to be able to open their chapter houses to conduct local business and to receive services they are asking for and deserve.”

The order leaves the continued wearing of masks optional for the general public and for all businesses, with four exceptions. The indoor mask requirement applies now only to early childhood education, primary and secondary schools, nursing homes, healthcare facilities and those who have COVID-19 symptoms, test positive or were exposed.

After 1,007 days of requiring masks on the Navajo Nation, the president noted that this is one of the last jurisdictions in the country to lift the mandate that was ordered by the Navajo Department of Health almost three years ago.

“Be responsible,” Nygren said. “Mask up if you’ve tested positive. Mask up and take a rapid test if you notice symptoms or suspect you’ve been exposed. We, as a Nation, are much more aware and much more prepared than in April 2020.”