Thursday, June 1, 2023

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Total of COVID-19 cases nears 6,000; Public health order issued for ‘drive-in’ gatherings

Total of COVID-19 cases nears 6,000; Public health order issued for ‘drive-in’ gatherings


With this the first weekend without the 57-hour curfew, health officials reported 5,808 COVID-19 cases on the Navajo Nation and 269 deaths as of Friday.

And 11 health care facilities report that approximately 2,576 people have recovered from the virus.

Chinle leads the U.S. Indian Health Service’s service units with 1,502 cases, followed by Gallup with 980; Shiprock, 962; Kayenta, 877; Crownpoint, 557; Tuba City, 474; and Winslow, 126. (The residence of six cases was unknown)

During Thursday’s town hall on Facebook, President Jonathan Nez said the daily curfew, from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m., will be extended until further notice.

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Guidelines in a new public order regarding “drive-in” gatherings, including parking lots, religious and funeral services, graduations and promotions, fireworks displays and others, include:

  • Participants must remain in their vehicles for the entire event.
  • All vehicle occupants must be from the same household.
  • Participants must maintain a six-feet distance from other vehicles.
  • Organizers and participants must wear facemasks.
  • No more than five people in public restrooms.
  • Ensure access to hand-washing station, sanitizers and gloves.
  • Clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces.

Nez said, “The public health orders continue to combat COVID-19 on the Navajo Nation and to prevent any potential spikes in new cases.”

Some schools have already held graduations where students, families and friends have driven by a station they were handed diplomas or held parades.

Fourth of July events in Kayenta and Window Rock have been canceled due to the virus.

About The Author

Arlyssa Becenti

Arlyssa Becenti reported 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.


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