Navajo Nation reports its first COVID-19 death in 11 days
WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (AP) — The Navajo Nation on Wednesday reported its first COVID-19 related death after 10 consecutive days of no such fatalities.
The tribe reported one death and eight new confirmed coronavirus cases on the vast reservation that covers parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah.
The latest numbers bring the Navajo Nation’s pandemic case total to 30,388 with the known death toll now at 1,263.
Tribal health officials said more than 16,500 people have recovered from COVID-19 thus far.
The tribe had been easing into reopening but that slowed somewhat after coronavirus variants were confirmed on the reservation. Tribal officials urged residents to stay vigilant.
Navajo President Jonathan Nez said the tribe recently had a cluster of COVID-19 cases as a result of a family gathering where people were not wearing masks.
Tribal public health orders mandate that masks be worn on the reservation and a daily curfew is in effect. Restaurants cannot have dine-in services.
Navajo Nation roads also are closed to visitors and tourists, which doesn’t affect travel on state highways that run through the reservation.
Meanwhile, health care facilities across the reservation continue to offer the vaccine by appointment or at drive-thru events.