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Navajo Nation To Lift Some COVID-19 Restrictions

The Navajo Nation is  preparing to lift some business restrictions as COVID-19 cases decline. But many health precautions will remain in place.

The reservation has had strict curfews and lockdowns in place for most of the past year. Starting Monday, hair salons, marinas, parks and some other businesses will be allowed to begin reopening. But businesses will have to submit reopening plans and adhere to 25% indoor capacity limits.

“I know some people will get upset, but we have to do small steps, and we have to look at our Nation as a bubble," Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez said. "It will take each and every one of us to keep the numbers down. It’s our responsibility. We must continue to follow these effective preventive measures that got us to these low numbers.”

The Navajo Nation has seen a rate of death from COVID-19 three times higher than Arizona’s, but average new daily cases on the reservation are now at their lowest level since September.

Katherine Davis-Young is a senior field correspondent. She has produced work for NPR, New England Public Radio, Southern California Public Radio, PRI's The World, Washington Post, Reuters and more.She has a master’s degree in radio journalism from the USC Annenberg School of Journalism.She lives in central Phoenix with her husband, two daughters, and ill-behaved cat and dog. Her side-passions include photography, crosswords and hot sauce.