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Navajo Nation Placed Under Curfew During Pandemic

Arizona health officials say the state now has tallied at least 919 known coronavirus cases and 17 deaths as of Sunday.  Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez Sunday announced a curfew from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. for reservation residents that will go into effect Monday. The stay-at-home order that Nez announced last week will remain in effect until further notice.

The Navajo Department of Health and Navajo Area Indian Health Service says the number of confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 has reached 115 for the Navajo Nation, which covers parts of New Mexico, Arizona and Utah.

In response to the virus, the Navajo Tribal Utility Authority has delayed water and power disconnections. The Navajo Times reported that in the small community of Chilchinbeto, first responders were delivering bottled water and other supplies to residents. Many Navajo homes do not have running water and washing hands regularly to guard against the spread of Coronavirus is a challenge for tribal members.

Of the 115 Navajo Nation coronavirus cases, authorities said 94 are on the Arizona portion of the reservation. Arizona has 919 COVID-19 cases as of Sunday with 17 deaths while New Mexico has 237 cases and two deaths.

The federal government has allocated about $8 billion for tribal governments in the new $2 trillion coronavirus spending package. Nez approved $4 million last week for the Navajo Department of Health to combat the coronavirus and provide medical supplies and water.