× Search



Effective April 26, 2021

Red Code Orange Code Yellow Code Green Code

This section only applies to non-governmental entities.


The Navajo Nation Reopening Plan (“Plan”) is intended to guide the reopening of private and public sector activity on the Navajo Nation in a safe and organized manner in the age of COVID-19. This Plan shall be in effect for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic.


  1. Provides general guidelines for everyone to continually follow throughout the COVID-19 pandemic in order to reduce the chances of spreading of COVID-19.
  2. Directs entities and organizations doing business in physical business spaces (i.e., “place of business”) to implement policies and procedures meeting certain minimum requirements.
  3. Provides a system for progressive reopening of business on the Nation based on

The reopening status schedule is based on a color-coded system, each color representing a different level of reopening activity. The Nation’s status will vary over time and will depend on a number of gating criteria and other public health considerations which indicate how well COVID-19 on the Nation is contained and how well the Nation is able to manage it. The decision about which status the Nation is in at any given time will be made by the Navajo Nation Health Command Operations Center (“NHCOC”).

General Guidelines of COVID-19

Continual Best Practices to Prevent Spread of COVID-19

The general guidelines are for everyone living on or visiting the Navajo Nation for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic.

  1. Socially (physically) distance yourselves. Keep at least six-feet apart from others in public
  2. Wear a face-mask as personal protective equipment (“PPE”) when in public.
  3. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing, or having been in a public place. If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  4. Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  5. To the extent possible, avoid touching frequently-touched surfaces in public places – e.g., gas pumps, ATMs, door handles, handrails, etc. Use a barrier such as a tissue or your sleeve to cover your hands or fingers if you must touch something.
  6. Avoid touching your face, nose, eyes, and mouth.
  7. Clean and disinfect your home and vehicles to remove germs: practice routine cleaning of frequently-touched surfaces--for example, tables, doorknobs, light switches, handles, desks, toilets, faucets, sinks, steering wheels, door handles, gearshifts, and cell phones.
  8. If you feel sick, stay home and do not go to work or school.
  9. If you feel sick, contact your medical provider for advice.
  10. Continue to follow the local health department, state, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) guidelines.

Policies and Procedures to Prevent Spread of COVID-19 at Places of Business

All entities and organizations having a place of business must develop COVID-19 policies and procedures. All businesses will be required to submit a COVID-19 Reopening Plan to the Navajo Nation Division of Economic Development before reopening in Orange Status. Reopening plans can be emailed to: . Such policies and procedures must:

  1. Ensure physical distance between personnel, customers, and any member of the public at the place of business is maximized, and that keeping six-feet between persons is possible at all times.
  2. Address requests of personnel who are members of a vulnerable population for special accommodations.
  3. Provide that the entity or organization will carry sufficient and appropriate PPE based on industry best practices.
  4. Provide that the entity or organization will carry sufficient disinfectant products.
  5. Require hygiene practices such as cleaning frequently-touched surfaces and handwashing.
  6. Provide for conducting regular employee COVID-19 screenings, such as temperature checks, checklist or diagnostic testing.
  7. Provide for on-going safety training and education on COVID-19.
  8. Provide standards for how to respond to suspected and confirmed cases of COVID-19 among employees. The policies and procedures shall further provide contact information for the nearest healthcare facility, and such information posted conspicuously at the place of business (e.g., informational poster). The place of business shall contact the healthcare facility immediately in the event of a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 to consult about next steps. Places of business shall report suspected or confirmed cases to NHCOC by calling (928) 871-7014.

Businesses must report one or more exposures to the Health Command Operations Center at Click Here or at (928) 871-7014.

Additionally, businesses are encouraged to consider adopting the following measures in their policies and procedures to further reduce the chances of exposure to COVID-19:

  1. Implement engineering controls where they are appropriate
    • Increase building ventilation
    • Install physical barriers to avoid exposure where appropriate--e.g., a plexiglass barrier at a cash register.

  2. Implement flexible work schedules and arrangements
    • Stagger employee work schedules to reduce the number of employees at the workplace at one time
    • Hold meetings by telecommunications
    • Arrange for employees to telecommute where practicable
    • Delay bringing high-risk employees back to work; have such individuals telecommute, where practicable, or place them on leave

  3. Provide employees with flexible leave policies pertaining to COVID-19.

Monitoring and Reopening Status Schedule

The Navajo Nation shall be monitoring COVID-19 and will reopen in accordance with a colored-coded status schedule throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. The Nation’s status will be determined by NHCOC. NHCOC will make its decision about reopening status based on specific “gating criteria” as well as general public health considerations. This reopening schedule will be binding on the public and private sectors.

A. Gating Criteria and Other Considerations in Determining the Nation’s Reopening Status

The decision to move between the phases will be dependent upon the rate of new COVID-19 cases, availability of testing, and hospital capacity. Before advancing to a less-restrictive status, NHCOC will determine whether or not certain “gating criteria” have been satisfied. The gating criteria are based on the “Guidelines for Opening up America Again”, issued by the White House and CDC. They appear in the table below:

Cases Testing Hospitals
Gating Criteria for Reopening Decrease of COVID-19 cases
Positive tests are decreasing and testing is accessible
Capacity to treat all patients without crisis care

In addition to the gating criteria, NHCOC will also consider the following:

  • Rate of new cases by service unit.
  • General hospital capacities.
  • Testing availability at all health facilities.
  • Available contact tracing and case management resources.

A. Status Schedule

The reopening status is indicated by a color-coded status schedule. Restrictions are eased gradually as status advances in the schedule, in the following order: red, orange, yellow and green. The Nation may move from a less restrictive to a more restrictive status if it becomes apparent to NHCOC that the Nation’s COVID-19 cases are rising or becoming less manageable in any way.

Red Code Orange Code Yellow Code Green Code

Status Reopening Conditions
  • Grocery stores shall follow the limitations and Operational Procedures as established on April 8, 2020 by the Navajo Nation Office of Environmental Health and Protection Program (See Administrative Order re: Bashes' Family Stores, City Market, Lowe's) Click Here
  • Gas stations: 5 persons or less in the store
  • Laundry facilities: 10 persons or less and 2 people per household
  • Restaurants and Dining Facilities: allowed drive-thru only
  • Banks and financial institutions: 10 persons
  • Adhere to compliance with the curfew
  • Not Allowed in Red Phase: Youth Programs, Casinos and video poker, museums, barber shops, hair salons, nail salons, flea markets, roadside markets, marinas, parks, gyms, recreation facilities
  • 25% of maximum occupancy allowed for most businesses
  • Restaurants and Dining facilities: drive-thru and curb-side permissible. Restaurants with permanent outdoor dining may provide outdoor dining at 25% of maximum capacity, as long as social distancing between tables is enforced; Restaurants without permanent outdoor dining are allowed up to 10 outdoor tables (max 4 persons per table), as long as social distancing between tables is enforced.
  • Personal Care and Services: service by appointment only and allow time for cleaning between appointments.
  • Marinas and parks: appointment only
  • Casinos and video poker: Navajo casinos are allowed to open to Navajo Nation residents and employees only.
  • Not Allowed in Orange Phase: youth programs, museums, flea markets, roadside markets, gyms, recreation facilities, movie theaters.
  • 50% of maximum occupancy allowed for most businesses to be open, including
    • Restaurants, including indoor dining, drive-thru, curb-side, and outdoor dining.
    • Navajo casinos.
    • Lodging and hotels including campgrounds and RV parks.
    • Museums and zoos.
    • Marinas and parks. Tour businesses must follow the HCOC Reopening Guidelines for Tour Businesses.
  • Personal Care and Services are allowed by appointment only with cleaning between appointments
  • Flea markets and roadside markets are allowed in accordance with guidelines issued by the HCOC.
  • Click here for more details regarding Vendor & Food stands
  • Youth programs are allowed in accordance with guideline issued by the HCOC. Per guideline, report all COVID-19 cases to local health care facility, and to the HCOC COVID-19 Report Exposure Portal. For questions about reporting cases, call the Health Command Operations Center at (928) 871-7014 Click for more Information
  • Not Allowed in Yellow Phase: gyms, recreation facilities, movie theaters
  • 75% of maximum occupancy allowed for all businesses

Note. Effective July 8, 2021, pursuant to Navajo Nation Resolution No. CJN-36-21, signed into law on July 6, 2021, the Nation’s roads are reopened to Visitors and Tourists, all Navajo Nation enterprises and Navajo businesses are open to Navajo citizens and non-Navajo tourists and visitors, in compliance with COVID-19 safety protocols and applicable Public Health Orders


  1. NHCOC Occupational Health Guidance for COVID-19 U.S. Department of Labor Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19:Click Here
  2. CDC Guidance for Businesses and Workplaces:Click here


COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) - a respiratory disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

Essential Service - Healthcare Operation, Essential Governmental Functions, Essential Infrastructure (e.g., courts of law, medical providers for urgent care, public utilities, and critical school operations such as nutrition programs) (From Public Health Emergency Order No. 2020-002, March 19, 2020 and expanded through Public Health Emergency Order No. 2020-003, March 20, 2020 to include food cultivation (including farming and livestock), grocery stores, food banks, convenience stores, hardware stores and other establishments engaged in the retail sale of groceries a nd non-grocery products necessary to maintaining the safety, sanitation and essential operation of residences, among other things).

Essential Worker - Those employees identified by Essential Businesses deemed to be necessary to the continued operation of those Essential Businesses.

Exposure - an individual who has come into contact with a cause of, or possessing a characteristic that is a determinant of, a particular health problem Quick Link

Flexible Work Schedule - A departure from a normal work schedule. For purposes of COVID-19, a flexible work schedule is intended to reduce the number of employees at the workplace at one time. Therefore, the flexible work schedule might stagger employee work schedules.

High-Risk Individual/Population - Individuals of age 65 years or older and those with underlying health conditions: (see list of underlying conditions applicable to COVID-19 at:

Personal Protective Equipment (commonly referred to as “PPE”) - equipment worn to minimize exposure to hazards that cause serious workplace injuries and illnesses. PPE may include items such as gloves, gown, face-masks, safety glasses/face shield, and shoe covers, earplugs or muffs, hard hats, respirators, or coveralls, vests and full body suits.

Place of Business - A physical venue at which people conduct “business”, which may include business for profit or non-profit, volunteer services, worship, and any other kind of activity bringing individuals in an enclosed space.

Places of lodging: Hotels, B&B, Resorts, Campgrounds, RV Parks, and Inns

Personal Care and Services: Barbershops, Hair Salons, Spa, Massage

Social or Physical Distancing - also known as “physical distancing,” means keeping space between oneself and other people outside of one’s home. For purposes of COVID-19, social / physical distancing requires keeping at least six feet between oneself and others.

Telecommuting - a voluntary or mandated alternative work arrangement, for which an employee performs some or all assigned duties at home or another remote location.

Terms Of UsePrivacy StatementCopyright 2021 by NNDIT
Back To Top