Navajo leaders urge mask wearing even as virus cases are low

July 10, 2021 GMT

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (AP) — The Navajo Nation reported 14 new cases of the coronavirus on Friday and one recent death.

The figures released by the Navajo Department of Health bring the total number of cases on the reservation to 31,081 since the pandemic began. The death toll is 1,358.

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) in Arizona, New Mexico and Utah.

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

“Our health care workers are sacrificing for all of us, so let’s help them by taking precautions and keeping ourselves,” said tribal Vice President Myron Lizer. “Be safe and continue to pray.”