WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. — The Navajo Nation has extended an executive order declaring a state of emergency and government closures to June 7 in an attempt to minimize the spread of the novel coronavirus.

A stay-at-home order for residents on the vast reservation also remains in place.

Tribal President Jonathan Nez announced the third extension of the executive order during an online town hall Tuesday.

The current emergency declaration that closes government offices and nonessential programs was set to expire May 17.

The tribe first implemented its order declaring a state of emergency and closing some government operations March 13.

It was extended March 31 and then a second time on April 21.

The Navajo Nation covers part of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah. The tribal health department late Wednesday reported 147 newly confirmed COVID-19 cases and 16 additional deaths from the novel coronavirus outbreak. The increases put the number of cases at 3,392 with a total of 119 deaths.

“I was hopeful we were flattening out ... but we need to start seeing the down numbers,” Nez said. “In order for us to do that, we have to keep everyone safe.”

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(1) comment

Paul Fishman

My question is this. With a tribal declaration of shutdown until June 7 IS there a flood of health care workers to intensively treat the sick and test the rest of the people to isolate groups with the virus? Has the national guard come in to help the health care workers and assist the native people with food and supplies? People being put in emergency stay at home need assistance NOT incarceration and threats of violent siege and punishment. Native people need gentle care with health care and kind assistance from police and military in their time of need.

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