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Hopi Reservation quarantines over neighboring Navajo coronavirus outbreak

The Hopi Reservation in Northern Arizona is locked down after the COVID-19 epidemic on the surrounding Navajo Nation grew to areas near the border between the Native American nations.

Hopi tribal officials announced the quarantine order on Monday.

The Navajo Nation announced a full lockdown on Sunday, issuing a "shelter in place" order.

Monday, Hopi Chairman Timothy L. Nuvangyaoma declared a "stay-at-home order," telling residents that "all individuals living on the Hopi Reservation must stay at home or at their place of residence, with the exception of essential personnel."

Sunday, Hopi officials were told that the Navajo outbreak had reached the Tuba City area, with three confirmed cases there. That is near the Hopi villages of Upper and Lower Munqapi, and "the degree of contact with contagious individuals and the subsequent degree of exposure is unknown," Nuvangyaoma said.

There are no reported cases on the Hopi Reservation, but the outbreak on the Navajo Nation has grown to at least 29 patients.

The 2,500-square-mile reservation, which sits entirely within the boundaries of the Navajo reservation, is home to the Hopi and Arizona Tewa people, with about 7,000 residents.

The quarantine is set to last at least through April 17.

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Navajo officials said the majority of the cases on the reservation, which extends across state lines into New Mexico, Utah and Colorado, involve patients who reported their symptoms to the clinic in Kayenta, Ariz., with others treated in Chinle, Ariz., and Shiprock, N.M.

Earlier, a Diné community of Chilchinbeto, Ariz., just south of Kayenta, has been quarantined after at least 7 cases were diagnosed there, Navajo officials said.

Residents have been instructed to self-quarantine, with anyone with symptoms told to self-isolate. Navajo police have set up checkpoints to discourage travel on the reservation.

The 22,000-square-mile Navajo reservation has a population of 148,000.

The outbreak has reached at least 12 of Arizona's 15 counties.

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A photo from the Hopi Reservation.