Navajo Nation extends “safer at home” order

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Sandra Brito, 55, sits on her bed after carrying a grocery caddy filled with food donated by the Rio de Paz NGO amid the COVID-19 pandemic in the Mandela slum, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Saturday, March 27, 2021. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)

The Navajo Nation has extended and loosened a health order intended to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.

Under the latest “safer at home” order issued Friday, the daily curfew hours are 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. MDT and businesses can remain open until 9 p.m. MDT daily, tribal officials said Saturday.

The order also includes provisions allowing outdoor “drive-in” gatherings in which people remain in their vehicles, park at at least six feet from other vehicles, and wear masks, officials said.

The tribe on Saturday reported 12 additional confirmed COVID-19 cases and one more death, increasing its pandemic totals to 30,052 cases and 1,246 deaths.

The number of infections is thought to be far higher than reported because many people have not been tested, and studies suggest people can be infected with the virus without feeling sick.

The Navajo Nation’s vast reservation covers parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah.

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THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:

VACCINES: More than 91.7 million people, or 27.6% of the U.S. population, have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Some 50.1 million people, or 15.1% of the population, have completed their vaccination.

CASES: The seven-day rolling average for daily new cases in the U.S. increased over the past two weeks from 54,773 on March 12 to 60,876 on Friday, according to Johns Hopkins University.

DEATHS: The seven-day rolling average for daily new deaths in the U.S. decreased over the past two weeks decreased from 1,341 on March 12 to 991 on Friday, according to Johns Hopkins University.

HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:

SANTA FE, N.M. — New Mexico on Saturday reported 185 additional confirmed COVID-19 cases with only two more deaths amid continued slowing of the coronavirus outbreak.

The state’s pandemic totals rose to 190,887 cases and 3,925 deaths as seven-day rolling averages of daily new cases and daily deaths declined over the past two weeks.

The rolling average of daily new cases dropped from 217.7 on March 11 to 191.7 on Thursday while the rolling average of daily deaths declined from 8.9 to 5.9 during the same period, according to Johns Hopkins University data.

Bernolillo and Sandoval counties each had one death from COVID-19 while Bernalillo accounted for about a third of the additional cases. Dona Ana, Sandoval, San Juan, and Valencia counties also had double-digit numbers of additional cases.

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — The Flagstaff City Council is casting a critical eye on Gov. Doug Ducey’s executive order barring local governments from enforcing mask-wearing mandates to reduce the spread of the coronavirus.

The council on Friday issued a statement saying it doesn’t plan to rescind the city’s proclamation requiring mask-wearing but won’t enforce it while studying Ducey’s order that also lifted the state’s remaining coronavirus restrictions on businesses and events.

The Flagstaff council says the virus continues to spread, and Ducey’s order ”is not in the best interest of public health.”

The COVID-19-related hospitalizations dropped to 581 on Friday, down from 626 the day before.

Arizona reported 776 confirmed cases and 14 more deaths on Saturday. That increased the state’s totals to 839,334 confirmed cases and 16,912 confirmed deaths.

Republished with the permission of the Associated Press.