Navajo Nation Issues Modified Curfews After 131 COVID-19 Cases Reported

Nov 5, 2020, 5:42 PM
File photo (KSL TV)...
File photo (KSL TV)

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. – For the second time in the past week, officials with the Navajo Nation Department of Health reported more than 100 cases of COVID-19, recording 131 new cases Wednesday. On Oct. 28, 130 new cases were reported.

That was the first time since June 24 that the reservation recorded more than 100 new COVID-19 cases.

In June, the Navajo Nation was considered to be one of the country’s hardest-hit areas. Since then, tribal leaders used strict measures such as lockdowns and curfews to lower the number of new cases. It was so effective that fewer than 50 new cases were reported from July 24 through Oct. 16, according to the Navajo coronavirus website.

Since then, the number of new cases has been rising steadily until crossing the 100-case threshold again on Sunday.

No deaths were reported Wednesday.

Part of the Navajo Nation is in Utah’s San Juan County, which is in the Four Corners area.

“The increase in the uncontrolled spread of COVID-19 in certain communities is largely due to travel off the Navajo Nation and family gatherings,” officials said. “The daily curfew remains in effect from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. on weekdays.”

On Thursday, the Navajo Health Department issued a new health order calling for 56-hour long lockdowns over the next two weekends, but with some changes.

“Stay local, stay safe. We understand that some residents are leaving the Navajo Nation during previous weekend lockdowns in order to shop for essential items and to get food,” said Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez. “The new provisions in the new public health order allow gas stations, grocery stores, laundromats and restaurants and food establishments on the Navajo Nation to remain open during certain hours on weekends to allow residents to stay local and stay safe.

“No one should be leaving the Navajo Nation on weekends.”

The lockdowns will run from 9 p.m. Fridays through 5 a.m. the following Monday.

The Navajo Nation also issued a health advisory to warn residents of the uncontrolled spread of COVID-19 in certain communities.

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Navajo Nation Issues Modified Curfews After 131 COVID-19 Cases Reported