Navajo officials urge vigilance over COVID during holidays

December 22, 2020 GMT

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (AP) — The Navajo Nation reported 158 new coronavirus cases on Monday and two more deaths from COVID-19.

The latest figures from the Navajo Department of Health bring the total number of cases on the reservation that extends into Arizona, New Mexico and Utah to 21,177. The Navajo Nation has reported 748 deaths since the pandemic hit.

Tribal officials are urging residents of the vast reservation to stay vigilant to help stop the spread of the coronavirus amid the holiday season when families usually gather to celebrate.

“We saw a spike in new COVID-19 cases following Thanksgiving, so we want to avoid that happening again,” said Navajo President Jonathan Nez.

He encouraged everyone to spend Christmas with only the people in their household. A stay-at-home order is in effect until Dec. 28, along with a weekend lockdown where business hours are limited. The tribe also requires masks to be worn in public.


Tribal officials plan to hold an online townhall on Tuesday to provide updates.