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Navajo Nation orders masks be worn in public on reservation

Vital resources being distributed to the Navajo Nation
Posted at 12:17 PM, Apr 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-18 18:33:35-04

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (AP) — The Navajo Nation is ordering all people on the tribe's sprawling reservation to wear protective masks when out in public to help fight the spread of the coronavirus.

Tribal officials announced Friday night that the Navajo Department of Health issued an emergency health order for the reservation, which includes parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah.

The Navajo Nation has been hit harder by the coronavirus than any other Native American tribe.

The tribe and the Navajo Area Indian Health Service said the number of positive coronavirus tests reached 1,127 as of Friday with 44 deaths attributed to COVID-19.

Tribal resident Jonathan Nez said officials would "continue to consider even more aggressive requirements to help bring the numbers down.''