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Navajo Nation Changes Weekend Lockdown Daily Curfew Hours

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WINDOW ROCK, Arizona – The Navajo Nation announced changes to its weekend lockdown and daily curfew efforts to control COVID-19.

A news release said this weekend’s lockdown will last 32 hours beginning Saturday at 9 p.m. and ending at 5 a.m. Monday.

The daily curfew will also operate under changed hours running from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. the following day.

The lockdowns and curfews have played a major role in lowering daily case counts on the reservation to fewer than 50.

Wednesday the Navajo health department announced 39 new cases and four deaths. The total number of deaths has reached 467.

Navajo leaders are now concerned about high case counts in neighboring states and how they are affecting the reservation. Utah reported 421 new cases Wednesday, the state of Arizona reported 1,698 new cases while New Mexico reported 229 new cases.

The Navajo Nation lies in all three states in the Four Corners area.

“In recent discussions with health care experts, it’s apparent that many of the new cases we are seeing on the Navajo Nation can be attributed to our citizens traveling to cities such as Phoenix and Albuquerque and attending family gatherings or eating out in restaurants and then returning home with the virus and spreading it to others,” said Navajo President Jonathan Nez. “This is based on the data and information that contact tracers are compiling.”

“We cannot stress the importance of staying home on the weekends and practicing social distancing and wearing masks when you have to go into public, which should only be for essential items or other necessary errands. We are doing our best to implement policies to protect our people, but they only work if everyone adheres to them,” Nez said.

The release said the Navajo Department of Health and the Health Command Operations Center have put a vaccination group in place to acquire and distribute a COVID-19 vaccine once one is ready.

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