Navajo Nation reports 231 new COVID-19 cases, 12 more deaths

Navajo Nation health officials on Dec. 11 reported 231 new COVID-19 cases and 12 more deaths as they prepared to implement a weekend-long lockdown for reservation residents.

In all, the tribe has now reported 19,199 cases and 711 known deaths since the pandemic began.

Navajo Department of Health officials said more than 180,000 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.

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The lockdown that begins at 8 p.m. Friday will require everyone on the reservation except essential workers to stay at home. All businesses are are required to remain closed until the lockdown ends at 5:30 a.m. on Dec. 14.

All residents of the Navajo Nation are required to remain home during the weekend lockdown with the exception of essential workers who are required to report to work. All businesses on the Navajo Nation are required to remain closed during the 57-hour weekend lockdown.

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

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.

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