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12 die of COVID-19 within 48 hours

WINDOW ROCK

It’s been the deadliest 48 hours since the COVID pandemic began as deaths from COVID-19 on the Navajo Nation increased by six two days in a row. As of Wednesday evening, the total number is 85, including 51 males, 34 females, with an average age of 65 years old.

Meanwhile new COVID-19 cases increased by 95 on Wednesday, totaling 2,654 cases. This numbers includes 1,237 males, 1,417 females, with an average age of 45 years old. A total of 16,280 COVID-19 tests have been administered with 12,170 negative test results.

Approximately 7% of the Navajo Nation population has been tested, compared to the U.S., which has tested approximately 2% of its population. This may help explain the Navajo Nation’s relatively high rate of COVID-19.

This weekend will be another 57-hour curfew. Navajo Nation Police sent out the stats from the most recent curfew weekend. The Navajo Police Department issued 274 citations and of those citations, 223 were for curfew violation and 51 were for traffic violations.

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The operation included a saturation patrol in the eastern Navajo region. A noticeable increase in traffic on Highway 264 between Window Rock, Arizona, and Gallup, New Mexico, was observed, although a majority were essential workers and out-of-state travelers who were detoured due to the City of Gallup lockdown.

The Navajo Police Department traffic team consisted of 12 officers dedicated to saturation patrol efforts throughout the weekend.  The Navajo Police Districts also conducted patrol efforts in their respective communities.

Prior to the weekend curfew, the Navajo Police Department, Navajo Nation Rangers, and Navajo Department of Transportation conducted two days of public education checkpoints to inform travelers of the weekend curfew.

“Those two days were a part of our initiative to inform the public to be aware of the upcoming weekend curfew.  We try to let them know ahead of time so they can prepare and plan for the weekend,” stated Police Chief Phillip Francisco. “We also inform them that we will be doing traffic enforcement throughout the weekend and we encourage them to comply with the stay-at-home orders currently in place.”

Curfew violators who receive a criminal nuisance citation could be fined up to $1,000 and/or up to 30 days in jail.  The penalties and fees are determined by the Navajo Nation courts.  Anyone with questions regarding a citation they received during curfew hours is asked to call the Navajo Nation Office of the Prosecutor at 505-775-3238.

The following public health orders have been issued for residents of the Navajo Nation.

  • No mass gatherings;
  • Closure of the Chilchinbeto Community;
  • Stay-at-home order for all residents of the Navajo Nation;
  • Daily curfew from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m.;
  • 57-hour weekend curfew from Friday, 8 p.m. to Monday, 5 a.m.;
  • Mandating the use of masks in public;
  • Extending the 57-hour weekend curfew for two additional weekends in May.

About The Author

Arlyssa Becenti

Arlyssa Becenti reports on Navajo Nation Council and Office of the President and Vice President. Her clans are Nát'oh dine'é Táchii'nii, Bit'ahnii, Kin łichii'nii, Kiyaa'áanii. She’s originally from Fort Defiance and has a degree in English Literature from Arizona State University. Before working for the Navajo Times she was a reporter for the Gallup Independent. She can be reached at abecenti@navajotimes.com. Follow her on Twitter at @abecenti

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