Rising COVID-19 cases, particularly in Arizona, prompt weekend curfews for Navajo Nation

Noel Lyn Smith
Farmington Daily Times

GALLUP — Residents on the Navajo Nation will be under a 57-hour curfew for the remaining weekends this month.

Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez announced the reinstatement of the weekend curfews due to the sharp increase in positive COVID-19 cases in states that comprise the reservation, particularly Arizona.

Nez did not provide details about the curfews, but previous ones occurred from 8 p.m. Fridays to 5 a.m. Mondays.

"We have to protect our people," Nez said after his announcement during an online town hall meeting on June 16.

The Arizona Department of Health Services reported 2,392 new cases for COVID-19 June 16.

The state has had more than two weeks of high numbers of reported cases, deaths and hospitalizations related to the disease, the Arizona Republic reported June 16.

A screenshot shows Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez talking about the reinstated weekend curfew during a town hall meeting on June 16 on Facebook.

In his remarks, Nez contributed the rise in cases due to the state removing restrictions for residents to stay at home.

He also asked tourists to refrain from traveling through the Navajo Nation.

"We want to protect everyone, including the visitors. So, visitors, the best place to be is at home. Now is not the time to be traveling all over the Southwest," Nez said.

The Navajo Parks and Recreation Department has kept its parks, recreation areas, and points of interest closed since March 13.

OPVP to distribute food, supplies in nearby chapters

The president's office will conduct food and supply distributions on June 17 in the chapters of Ojo Encino, Upper Fruitland, Nenahnezad and San Juan.

Distributions will take place at the following times and locations:

• 10:30 a.m. at Cedar Hill Baptist Church in Ojo Encino

• 1:30 p.m. at Upper Fruitland Chapter house

• 3:30 p.m. at Nenahnezad Chapter house

• 5:30 p.m. at San Juan Chapter house

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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