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Navajo Nation Extends Weekend Lockdown Orders

Monument Valley remained closed under the Navajo Nation's latest weekend curfew. (Photo courtesy Phillip Smith)

WINDOW ROCK, Arizona – Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez urged tribal members to stay home as the Navajo Department of Health issued orders for two additional weekend lockdowns.

The Navajo Nation was one of the worst hot spots in the country for the spread of coronavirus over the last several months. That has now changed.

“The Navajo Nation no longer has the highest number of cases per capita in the United States because we implemented proactive public health orders to slow the spread of COVID-19,” Nez said. “The state of Arizona relaxed its preventive measures, and the number of cases and hospitalizations continue to drastically increase.”

Earlier this week, Nez pleaded with tribal members to avoid visiting Arizona because of the spike in cases there.

“Arizona relaxed its preventive measures, and the number of cases and hospitalizations continue to drastically increase. We cannot put our Nation in the same situation,” said Nez.

The reservation will be under 57-hour weekend lockdowns starting 8:00 p.m. Friday. Navajo Police and nearby sheriff’s departments will enforce the lockdowns with road checkpoints. Violators could be fined up to $1,000 or jailed for up to 30 days.

All reservation businesses will be closed as well as Navajo Tribal Parks.

“Now is not the time to let our guard down. Don’t back down,” said President Nez.

The Navajo Nation is on three states in the Four Corners area which also includes Utah’s San Juan County.

The pandemic has killed 322 people on the reservation. A total of 6,747 have tested positive for COVID-19.

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