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Navajo Nation reports 191 new COVID-19 cases, 5 more deaths

December 10, 2020 GMT

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (AP) — Navajo Nation health officials on Wednesday reported 191 new COVID-19 cases and five more deaths.

In all, the tribe has now reported 18,575 cases and 693 know deaths since the pandemic began.

Navajo Department of Health officials said nearly 177,000 people on the vast reservation that includes parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah have been tested for COVID-19 and more than 10,000 have recovered.

But officials have identified 77 Navajo Nation communities with uncontrolled spread of the coronavirus since late last month.

Tribal officials said nearly all intensive care unit beds on the reservation are being used as COVID-19 cases surge.

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They warn that the tribe is nearing a point where health care workers will have to make difficult decisions about providing care with limited hospital resources.

The tribe has extended its stay-at-home order though Dec. 28 in an attempt to stop the spread of the virus.

Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez is hoping a safe vaccine is available soon.

“Approximately 150 residents of the Navajo Nation volunteered for the vaccine trials and I have not received any reports of any major side effects or concerns,” Nez said in a statement Wednesday.