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Navajo Nation: No COVID-related deaths, 11th time in 17 days

October 17, 2021 GMT

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (AP) — The Navajo Nation has reported 31 more COVID-19 cases, but no additional deaths for the 11th time in the past 17 days.

The latest numbers released Saturday pushed the tribe’s totals to 34,814 confirmed COVID-19 cases from the virus since the pandemic began more than a year ago.

The known death toll remains at 1,464.

“Contact tracers continue to find that many new cases of COVID-19 are due to family gatherings where people let their guard down and don’t wear masks,” Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez said in a statement. “We have to remain diligent and do our best to follow the guidance of our health care experts.”

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

All Navajo Nation executive branch employees had to be fully vaccinated against the virus by the end of September or submit to regular testing.

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.