Navajo Nation implements new stay-at-home order as virus cases surge

Nov 15, 2020, 4:00 PM | Updated: Nov 16, 2020, 6:06 am

(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)...

(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

PHOENIX— The Navajo Nation will implement a new three week stay-at-home lockdown order on Monday in an effort to curb surging coronavirus cases on the reservation.

The lockdown is designed to restrict people from traveling off the Navajo Nation and holding gatherings.

“If our people don’t make drastic changes and if we continue to hold gatherings, travel off the Navajo Nation, and to be careless then we are soon going to be in a major crisis situation,” Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez said in a press release.

“This virus is real, it’s potentially deadly, and anyone can catch it.”

During the stay-at-home order, only essential businesses like grocery stores, gas stations, restaurants and laundry mats will be allowed to stay open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. They are required to enforce wearing face covering and social distancing.

Nez also noted that public health officials are projecting that the Navajo Nation could surpass the level of COVID-19 cases seen in April and May.

On Saturday, the Navajo Nation reported 172 new coronavirus cases and no recent deaths, bringing the documented totals to 13,249 infections and 598 fatalities.

Last week, the Navajo Nation Department of Health identified 34 communities with an uncontrollable spread of coronavirus, which led officials to issue a warning and enact a 56-hour weekend curfew.

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Navajo Nation implements new stay-at-home order as virus cases surge