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Navajo Nation reports 18 more COVID-19 cases, but no deaths

September 19, 2021 GMT

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (AP) — The Navajo Nation on Sunday reported 18 more COVID-19 cases, but no deaths for the second time in the past three days.

The latest numbers pushed the tribe’s totals to 33,531 confirmed COVID-19 cases from the virus since the pandemic began more than a year ago. The death toll remained at 1,429.

The tribe had reported 54 more cases and two deaths Thursday, 55 cases with no deaths on Friday and 63 cases with one death on Saturday.

Navajo officials are urging people to get vaccinated, wear masks while in public and minimize their travel.

Officials said all Navajo Nation executive branch employees will need to be fully vaccinated against the virus by the end of September or submit to regular testing.

The new rules apply to full, part-time and temporary employees, including those working for tribal enterprises like utilities, shopping centers and casinos.

Any worker who does not show proof of vaccination by Sept. 29 must be tested every two weeks or face discipline.

The tribe’s reservation is the country’s largest at 27,000 square miles (70,000 square kilometers) and it covers parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah.