Navajo Nation extends closing of tribal government to May 17

(Zak Podmore | Tribune file photo) A sign outside the Navajo Nation community of Halchita, Utah, announces the nightly curfew for Navajo Nation residents on Friday, April 17, 2020.

Window Rock, Ariz. • The closure of the Navajo Nation’s tribal government because of the coronavirus outbreak is being extended into late May.

Tribal President Jonathan Nez on Wednesday announced that he issued an executive order Tuesday extending the closure of government offices and related facilities to May 17 from the previous expiration date of April 26.

Nez said there's a "slight flattening of the curve" but there's still a need to remain vigilant.

"We're not letting our guard down – now is not the time," he said in a statement.

Nez noted that a 57-hour lockdown on the reservation on recent weekends will be repeated over the coming weekend, beginning Friday at 8 p.m. and continuing until 5 a.m. Monday.

The Navajo Department of Health said Thursday that the tribe now has 1,360 positive COVID-19 cases and 52 known deaths.

The tribe’s reservation includes parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah.

Meanwhile on Wednesday, Nez was on hand as two semi-trucks arrived in the capital of the Navajo Nation to deliver over 2,500 bottles of water to help first responders and health care workers on the frontlines.

The donated bottles contained 30,000 liters of bottled water.