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Town Of Eagar To Hold July 4th Parade And Other Public Events Despite COVID-19 Surge

The Town of Eagar in the White Mountains won’t cancel its Fourth of July parade this weekend and several other events. It comes as Arizona sees record numbers of new coronavirus cases and the White Mountain Apache Tribe has banned visitors to the reservation. KNAU’s Ryan Heinsius reports.

Eagar Mayor Bryce Hamblin says governments can’t deprive healthy, law-abiding citizens of their right to publicly gather. In a statement, he also says attendees at the town’s Fourth of July parade and upcoming rodeos won’t be required to wear facemasks or take other precautions against the transmission of coronavirus.

Eagar has a population of about 5,000 and is located in Apache County, which has reported more than 2,300 known infections and 85 deaths since the pandemic began.

The decision to go ahead with public gatherings in Eagar comes as the White Mountain Apache Tribe has implemented some of the strictest protective measures in Arizona. The tribe has banned visitors to the reservation and has ordered a two-week lockdown of all residents to protect against COVID-19. More than an eighth of the tribe’s 13,500 residents have tested positive for the disease.

Ryan Heinsius joined the KNAU newsroom as executive producer in 2013 and was named news director and managing editor in 2024. As a reporter, he has covered a broad range of stories from local, state and tribal politics to education, economy, energy and public lands issues, and frequently interviews internationally known and regional musicians. Ryan is an Edward R. Murrow Award winner and a Public Media Journalists Association Award winner, and a frequent contributor to NPR's Morning Edition, All Things Considered and national newscast.
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