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COVID-19 infection rates prompt Navajo Nation officials to extend restrictions

Noel Lyn Smith
Farmington Daily Times

FARMINGTON — The Navajo Nation will remain under restrictions and weekend lockdowns due to high numbers of new COVID-19 infections.

The extension is the first public health emergency order issued in 2021 by the Navajo Department of Health.

As with previous orders, residents on tribal land are required to stay at home 24 hours a day and seven days a week except for essential workers reporting to worksites.

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It also extends weekend lockdowns with the start and end times following previous timelines.

Lockdowns are scheduled for Jan. 15 through Jan. 18 and from Jan. 22 through Jan. 25.

Essential businesses can operate on weekdays from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and individuals must refrain from public gatherings and follow health guidelines for COVID-19.

Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez.

Meanwhile, tribal President Jonathan Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer have extended the public health state of emergency through Jan. 24 in an executive order they signed on Jan. 7.

Under the action by Nez and Lizer, all government offices under the executive branch and tribal enterprises shall continue limited services to the public.

Keep reading:Navajo Nation extends lockdown into new year over coronavirus cases

"We are now seeing the impact of the recent holidays in terms of new cases of COVID-19. The high numbers of daily cases are likely due to in-person family gatherings that occurred during the holidays, which means the spread of the virus now creates additional risks for us all," Nez said in a statement.

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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