As Arizona Virus Cases Rise, Navajo Nation Restarts Weekend Lockdowns

In an announcement on Tuesday in Window Rock, Arizona, the Navajo Nation will resume lockdowns for at least the next two weekends as the number of COVID-19 cases off the reservation increases.

In a virtual town hall, Tribal President Jonathan Nez made the announcement Tuesday, as result of Arizona hitting an alarmingly new high daily number of cases. He is urging people to stay home. Businesses in the area will be closed during the weekend lockdown.

During the peak of the virus, the Navajo Nation sent their sickest patients from the reservation to larger hospitals in Arizona and New Mexico. Nez explained that might not be an option again if Arizona hospitals become overwhelmed with patients.

“A second surge, a worse surge, may put a lot of pressure back on our health care system and our health care workers,” Nez said.

Currently. residents on the Navajo Nation are still under daily nighttime curfews. It has been several weeks since they were required to stay home throughout the weekend, from sundown Friday to sunrise Monday. Tribal police have had to cite those that violated the lockdown.

It is also a requirement that masks are worn in public on the reservation. All tribal government offices are closed to the public.

On Tuesday, the tribe reported 39 new coronavirus cases and eight more deaths. The total number of cases reported was 6,672 with 319 deaths. Health officials said nearly half of those who tested positive have recovered.

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