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Navajo Nation reports 16 new COVID-19 cases and 1 more death

July 15, 2021 GMT

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (AP) — The Navajo Nation on Wednesday reported 16 new COVID-19 cases and one more death.

The figures released by the Navajo Department of Health brought the total number of cases on the vast reservation to 31,132 since the pandemic began. The death toll now is at 1,362.

The Navajo Nation recently relaxed restrictions to allow visitors to travel on the reservation and visit popular attractions like Canyon de Chelly and Monument Valley.

The 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.

While cases are down, Navajo leaders are urging residents to continue wearing masks and get vaccinated.

“Our contact tracers indicate that some of the new cases are directly related to travel off the Navajo Nation, in which individuals attended large public events in large cities then returned home and spread the virus to their family members,” tribal President Jonathan Nez said in a statement. “We have to do better and keep pushing back on COVID-19 and Delta variant by getting more of our people fully vaccinated and wearing masks in public.”