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McKinley surpasses Navajo County for most COVID cases on rez

Navajo Times | Donovan Quintero

Public Service Officers with the Gallup Police Department speak to a man on the street on April 17 in Gallup.

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A total of 1,873 people on the Navajo Nation have tested positive for COVID-19, which includes 886 males, 987 females, and an average age of 46 years old. The total number of deaths is 60, which includes 40 males, 20 females, and an average age of 65 years old.

The Navajo Department of Health issued another Public Health Emergency Order to implement another 57-hour weekend curfew beginning on Friday at 8 p.m. until Monday at 5 a.m. for the entire Navajo Nation.

With the first of the month Friday, Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez said that under the leadership of Division of Economic Development Executive Director JT Willie, the Nation will initiate “Operation First of the Month” again to work with businesses to create safeguards for our Navajo elders.

“Our team is also being proactive to plan for the first of the month this Friday,” stated Nez.

Even with the curfew Nez stated there is still the shelter-in-place order. 

“Please adhere to the orders and remain home unless you are in need of food, medicine, or in cases of emergencies,” stated Nez.

Up until today Navajo County in Arizona had been the county with the most COVID-19 cases on the reservation but McKinley County, New Mexico, surpassed it. According to the New York Times Gallup, New Mexico is the fourth worst hot spot per capita. Today an ordinance was put into place that those in McKinley County wear facemasks. The Navajo Nation had placed a facemask order into effect two weeks ago. 

If anyone violates this ordinance they could be fined not less than $100 nor more than $300, and enforcement shall be issued by a citation by any law enforcement officer. 

“We can caution the public all day long and issue as many public health orders as we want, but ultimately the choice to stay home or go out into public remains in the hands of each individual,” stated Vice President Myron Lizer. “Please talk to your family members, your friends, coworkers, and others and tell them to stay home to save lives.”

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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