Posted by Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer on Wednesday, June 3, 2020
Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer: Town Hall - June 3, 2020

Cronkite News: Navajo Nation cancels July 4 celebrations, ends weekend curfew

Cronkite News

PHOENIX – Navajo leaders on Wednesday canceled this year’s Fourth of July celebrations in Window Rock as the tribe continues to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic.

President Jonathan Nez announced the cancellation Wednesday during a Facebook Live town hall in which he also lifted the 57-hour weekend curfew “unless we see numbers increase once again for coronavirus cases.”

In addition, the reopening of businesses has been pushed from June 8 to July 5, which will give the tribe more time to clean buildings, get employees tested and get stocked up on personal protection equipment, according to a new executive order from Nez.

The 57-hour curfew has been implemented on the reservation every weekend since April 10. However, Arizona’s statewide curfew, enacted Sunday in response to the protests over the death of George Floyd, remains in effect from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. daily until Monday.

The vast Navajo reservation has been particularly hard hit by COVID-19. To date, Navajo health officials report 5,533 positive cases of COVID-19 and 252 confirmed deaths.

As of Wednesday, June 3, the Arizona Department of Health Services has reported 22,223 cases of COVID-19 and 981 deaths in the state. It said 345,044 tests have been completed as of June 3 in public and private labs in Arizona, and 5.8% of tests have come back positive for the virus. Less than 5% of Arizonans have been tested to date.

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Note: This story originally appeared on Cronkite News and is published via a Creative Commons license. Cronkite News is produced by the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

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