SAN JUAN COUNTY, Utah (ABC4 News)- The Navajo Nation is one of the hardest-hit communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

There are about 4,500 cases and nearly 150 deaths reported on the reservations which extend into Utah, Arizona and New Mexico. Utah cities Bluff and Mexican Hat are in close proximity to the Navajo Nations lands, as a result, Governor Herbert has approved requests for the two
municipalities to transition back into the orange/moderate-risk status.

The cities are located in San Juan County, which in now in the yellow/low-risk phase.

“Because of difficult conditions in the Navajo Nation and along its borders, we are
transitioning the municipalities of Bluff and Mexican Hat from yellow to orange to signal
a significant health risk in the area,” Governor Herbert said.

“We very much appreciate working with Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez on efforts to combat COVID-19. Our hearts go out to all of our Navajo friends who have been impacted by this awful virus.”

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This is the first time a city has been pulled back into a phase (example: from yellow to orange), but state health officials say decisions which counties are placed in which risk phase are based on data and will be re-evaluated over the coming weeks and months.