Navajo president: Tribe can’t afford a large COVID-19 surge

Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez said Dec. 10 that the tribe’s health care system already has been tested by the coronavirus pandemic and that the tribe cannot afford to have another large surge in new cases.

Tribal health officials reported an additional 61 confirmed infections Friday and one more death. The total number of deaths now stands at 1,558.

"We cannot let down our guard during this holiday season," Nez said. "We’ve seen how quickly variants can spread in our communities, especially during family gatherings."

He urged people to take precautions, such as wearing a mask in public, practicing social distancing, limiting travel and washing hands often.

The reservation covers 27,000 square miles (70,000 square kilometers) and extends into parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah.

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