It’s Wednesday, July 7. The Arizona Department of Health Services on Tuesday documented 18,000 total deaths related to COVID-19 as the state nears 900,000 positive cases. Four additional deaths were reported today. The COVID-19 delta variant has been confirmed in both Arizona and on the Navajo Nation.
Tribal Roads, In-Person Instruction To Reopen On Navajo Nation
Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez on Tuesday signed off on legislation allowing in-person instruction and education to resume. The new mandate will also permit tribal parks to reopen with 50% maximum capacity, and tribal roads to reopen to visitors.
The Navajo Nation for months has remained closed to outside visitors to prevent the spread of COVID-19. With the reopening, a mask mandate will remain in effect for Navajo citizens and non-citizens in all public spaces. Nez on Tuesday implored visitors to respect the Nation’s precautions as tribal officials confirm a total of 1,351 COVID-related deaths.
“We’ve experienced unprecedented challenges and hardship over the last year and a half, but we are emerging stronger than ever from the pandemic,” Nez said.
A new public health order will be released today with specific reopening regulations, according to tribal officials.
More Area Forests Reopen; Flagstaff, Coconino County Downgrade Fire Restrictions
The Apache-Sitgreaves and Tonto national forests opened to the public this morning amid recent precipitation and improved fire containment. The Prescott National Forest also lifted its full closure today, though some closures remain effective due to the active Rafael and Tiger fires. The Coconino and Kaibab national forests reopened Tuesday.
Stage II restrictions will continue in area forests, barring open fires, including campfires, as well as smoking in designated areas only, and operating electric tools powered by a combustion engine.
Flagstaff and Coconino County have also entered Stage II fire restrictions.
Tiger Fire Grows, No Containment Reported
A lightning-caused fire near Crown King and Black Canyon City has reached 12,133 acres with zero containment, according to an Incident Management Team morning update. Crown King, Cleator and Black Canyon City remain in “ready” status, while an evacuation order remains effective for Horsethief Basin.
Regional Temps Expected To Rise
An Excessive Heat Warning is in effect for lower elevations of the Grand Canyon until July 11, per the National Weather Service. Temperatures at the Phantom Ranch are forecast to reach 116º today. The NWS reported record-high temperatures yesterday for Seligman (104º) and Winslow (105º), tying with previous records set in 2017.
Kingman city officials say cooling stations will be dispersed as an Excessive Heat Warning remains effective for the entirety of Mohave County until Sunday.
Vaccine Clinics On Tap
Weekly COVID-19 vaccination clinics are slated today outside the Coconino County Health and Human Services Building in Flagstaff and this evening at downtown Flagstaff’s Heritage Square. Pop-up clinics are on tap Friday in front of the Coconino County Courthouse and Saturday at the Page High School parking lot. Daily administration rates have continued to slow in the county and state.