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Navajo Nation reports 57 new COVID-19 cases and 1 more death

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. – The Navajo Nation on Wednesday reported 57 new COVID-19 cases – 20 more than the previous day – plus one more death.

The latest numbers pushed the tribe’s totals to 32,374 coronavirus cases and 1,399 known deaths since the pandemic began more than a year ago.

The vast Navajo Nation spans parts of New Mexico, Utah and Arizona.

“It’s been over one year that we’ve been dealing with COVID-19. We know what the risks are and we know how to protect ourselves,” tribal President Jonathan Nez said.

Nez has said all Navajo Nation executive branch employees will need to be fully vaccinated against the virus that causes COVID-19 by the end of September or be required to submit to regular testing.

The new rules apply to full, part-time and temporary employees, including those working for tribal enterprises such as utilities, shopping centers and casinos. Any worker who does not show proof of vaccination by Sept. 29 must be tested every two weeks or face discipline.

More than 80% of the tribe’s workers are already fully vaccinated, but Nez said getting the rest inoculated is needed to ensure the workforce on the reservation can serve tribal members.