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57-hour lockdown re-implemented after spike

WINDOW ROCK

A spike in coronavirus cases because of family gatherings has caused the return of the 57-hour lockdown and re-implementation of stay-at-home orders.

During his virtual town hall Tuesday President Jonathan Nez said contact tracers have traced the recent spike to several large family gatherings.

“All of the cases that we have are from family gathering,” said Nez. “You put your family in jeopardy when you have these family gatherings.”

Contact tracers found that a person recently went to Utah and contracted the virus; they then had a ceremony done which caused the virus to spread among those who were in attendance. The person also attended other social and family gatherings, spreading COVID-19 to 40-plus people.

“We are going to have to slow everything,” said Nez. “We don’t how far this has gone out and contact with other people. We aren’t getting much help from these family members … They need to be able to let us know where they have been. You can’t just hide these things.”

Satellite chapters of Eastern Agency are also of concern after contact tracers found that someone there had travelled to Albuquerque and contracted the virus.

Although the daily COVID-19 cases are in the teens, and nearly two weeks ago the Navajo Nation had zero cases one day, Nez reminded Navajos these are within a 24-hour period.

“This is an example if we let down,” said Nez. “It took one person to leave the Nation into a hot zone to Utah, coming back and to (not) following protocols of family gatherings and social distancing.”

Daily curfews are 8 p.m. to 5 a.m.

The 57-hour lockdown begins Friday at 8 p.m. and ends Monday at 5 a.m. through at least the end of September.


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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