The COVID-19 virus

APACHE COUNTY — Three cases of COVID-19 have now been confirmed in Apache County.

Apache County Public Health Director Preston Raban said that his office stands ready to assist the Navajo Nation.

"We're working closely with the Nation … we're in a holding pattern … waiting to help any way we can," Raban said.

He noted that one county staffer from District II is part of an emergency operations response team for the Navajo Nation.

Raban said that "the epidemiological reporting on this has been released yet … that's what they're working on," he explained.

At least 10 cases of COVID-19 and perhaps as many as 14 cases (the numbers reported vary by the source) have been reported near the community of Chilchinbeto, in Navajo County not far from Chinle, in Apache County.

The Apache County Board of Supervisors approved a Declaration of a County Public Health Emergency on Friday.

The announcement comes on the heels of Gov. Ducey's executive order closing the dining rooms of restaurants (take-out orders are allowed), movie theaters and gyms in an effort to slow the outbreak of the coronavirus.

"We'll be getting with the cities for planning," Raban said, to respond to the governor's order.

He said the balance between protecting the public and the survival of local businesses "it's not an easy thing."

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