Navajo Nation extends emergency declaration until June 7

(Carolyn Kaster | AP file photo) A rainbow is seen in the distance from the closed Chilchinbeto Church of the Nazarene in Chilchinbeto, Ariz., on the Navajo reservation on April 21, 2020. The reservation has some of the highest rates of coronavirus in the country. A state of emergency and government closures for the reservation has been extended until June 7 to try and stop the spread of the virus.

Window Rock, Ariz. • The Navajo Nation has extended an executive order declaring a state of emergency and government closures to June 7 in an attempt to minimize the spread of the coronavirus.

A stay-at-home order for residents on the vast reservation also remains in place.

Tribal President Jonathan Nez announced the third extension of the executive order during an online town hall Tuesday.

The current emergency declaration that closes government offices and non-essential programs was set to expire May 17.

The tribe first implemented its order declaring a state of emergency and closing some government operations on March 13.

It was extended March 31 and then a second time on April 21.

The Navajo Nation covers part of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah. The tribe has been hard-hit by the coronavirus pandemic with at least 3,204 cases and 102 known deaths as of Monday night.

“I was hopeful we were flattening out ... but we need to start seeing the down numbers,” Nez said. “In order for us to do that, we have to keep everyone safe.”