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GALLUP — The Navajo Nation is reporting three additional positive cases of the COVID-19 virus.

The Navajo Department of Health and the Navajo Area Indian Health Service reported on March 23 that there are now 29 cases, according to a press release from the tribe's Office of President and Vice President.

The new number includes cases from McKinley County and from Apache and Navajo counties in Arizona.

The release also reminded residents on the Navajo Nation that a shelter-in-place order remains in effect. This requires residents to stay at home and all non-essential business to close to prevent the further spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus.

"To prevent a massive public health crisis, every person must remain home. The fact is that the number of positive tests is growing. We know some may need food, medicine, or other essential items, but beyond that we shouldn't have anyone traveling or going out into the public. This includes public gatherings and meetings," tribal President Jonathan Nez said in the release.

The Navajo Police Department has been using officers to announce reminders about the shelter-in-place order to community members, the release states.

Noel Lyn Smith covers the Navajo Nation for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4636 or by email at nsmith@daily-times.com.

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