Navajo President Nygren ends COVID-19 mask mandate


People wait in line at the Dr. Guy Gorman Senior Care Home to receive the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine on the Navajo Nation in Chinle on Dec. 18, 2020.

Finishing his first full week in office, Navajo President Buu Nygren on Friday called an end to the Navajo Nation’s COVID-19 mask mandates, which were first implemented in April 2020 by former President Jonathan Nez.

“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.”

Nygren said in a joint press release with the Navajo Nation Speaker’s Office that the mask mandate would officially end at 5 p.m. on Friday, even as the contagious new sub-variant XBB.1.5 of the coronavirus has been detected in Arizona.

The order applies to public spaces across the 110 chapters. The order leaves the continued wearing of masks optional for the general public and for all businesses.

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