Tourism closure extended on Havasupai tribal land known for waterfalls

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A small tribe whose reservation lies deep in a gorge off the Grand Canyon is suspending its tourism operations until February. 

No cases of coronavirus have been reported on the Havasupai reservation, but tribal officials say they're acting out of an abundance of caution because the virus could spread quickly there. 

The reservation is renowned for its blue-green waterfalls that draw tourists from around the world. 

Tribal officials say anyone who has a permit to stay on the reservation this year will be rescheduled for the same dates in 2022. 

The tribe’s reservation is deep in a gorge off the Grand Canyon, accessible only by foot, mule or helicopter. It is home to about 450 people who have been instructed to stay at home, except to get essential items.

About 40,000 people visit the tribe’s land annually.

Meanwhile, Arizona authorities on Saturday reported 570 additional COVID-19 cases and 21 deaths from the virus. 

Officials say 220 of the additional cases were from early May. 

In all, Arizona has reported 886,404 COVID-19 cases and 17,761 deaths from the virus since the pandemic began. 

47% of the people living in Arizona have been vaccinated.

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