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WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. — Even with the flattening of the curve of COVID-19 positive cases, Navajo Nation leaders are urging Navajo Nation citizens to stay home during the long Labor Day weekend. Earlier this week, Navajo Nation officials said until there is a proven vaccine that works, Navajo citizens should excercise caution to prevent spread of the deadly virus. 

"Labor Day weekend is approaching and we know that there is a handful of people that will decide to travel despite the warnings from health experts – that’s when we have to hold our family members and loved ones accountable for their actions. Please tell your loved ones to stay home during the partial weekend lockdowns because they are putting themselves and everyone else at risk when or if they travel outside of the Navajo Nation," Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez said on Wednesday. 

The Navajo Nation will have a 32-hour partial weekend lockdown beginning on Saturday, Sept. 5 at 9:00 p.m. (MDT) and last until Monday, Sept. 7 at 5:00 a.m. (MDT). Daily curfew hours from 9:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. (MDT) will also continue through the month of September to help control and prevent the spread of COVID-19 on the Navajo Nation.

On Wednesday, the Navajo Department of Health, in coordination with the Navajo Epidemiology Center and the Navajo Area Indian Health Service, reported 17 new COVID-19 positive cases for the Navajo Nation and one more death. The total number of deaths has reached 504 as of Wednesday. Reports indicate that 7,108 individuals have recovered from COVID-19 and 96,086 COVID-19 tests have been administered. The total number of positive COVID-19 cases is now 9,847.

Navajo Nation COVID-19 positive cases by Service Unit:

  • Chinle Service Unit: 2,333
  • Crownpoint Service Unit: 809
  • Ft. Defiance Service Unit: 923
  • Gallup Service Unit: 1,577
  • Kayenta Service Unit: 1,306
  • Shiprock Service Unit: 1,501
  • Tuba City Service Unit: 935
  • Winslow Service Unit: 457
  • Six residences with COVID-19 positive cases are not specific enough to place them accurately in a Service Unit.

Nez cites the high rates of cases in the three states where the Navajo Nation is located. 

"The overall numbers for the states of Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah remain relatively high so we need to remain mindful of that. Use the time you have on Saturday to prepare your home and your family for the upcoming winter season. Gather firewood, food, water, and other essential supplies to ensure your safety this winter. Please continue to wear your masks, stay home, wash hands, practice social distancing, and avoid large crowds,” Nez said.

On Wednesday, the state of Utah reported 419 new cases of COVID-19, the state of Arizona reported 519 new cases, and New Mexico reported 154.

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About The Author
Levi Rickert
Author: Levi RickertEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Levi Rickert (Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation) is the founder, publisher and editor of Native News Online. Rickert was awarded Best Column 2021 Native Media Award for the print/online category by the Native American Journalists Association. He serves on the advisory board of the Multicultural Media Correspondents Association. He can be reached at [email protected]