WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (AP) — Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez signed an executive order Wednesday to keep parts of the tribal government closed through mid-August because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The executive branch had been scheduled to reopen July 27 but now will stay closed until Aug. 16. Nez cited recent surges in coronavirus cases off the reservation. Most tribal government offices have been closed to the public or restricted services since the first COVID-19 cases were reported in March.
On Wednesday, tribal lawmakers overturned the veto of a bill to cancel the tribe’s primary election on Aug. 4. Chapter officials instead will be elected by plurality vote in November.
Navajo Nation health officials reported 45 new COVID-19 positive cases and six more deaths Wednesday. The total number of deaths has reached 431 as of Wednesday.