WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (AP) — The Navajo Nation has reported 53 new COVID-19 cases and seven additional deaths.
The latest numbers released Saturday pushed the Navajo Nation’s total to 32,907 cases since the pandemic began more than a year ago and 1,414 known deaths.
In a statement, tribal President Jonathan Nez pleaded for residents not to leave the reservation over the Labor Day weekend.
“The safest place to be is at home here on the Navajo Nation where the infection rate for COVID-19 is much lower than border towns and cities” off the vast reservation,” Nez said.
Nez previously said all Navajo Nation executive branch employees will need to be fully vaccinated against the virus by the end of September or submit to regular testing.
The new rules apply to full, part-time and temporary employees, including those working for tribal enterprises like 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.
The tribe’s reservation is the country’s largest at 27,000 square miles (70,000 square kilometers) and it covers parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah.
First published on: AP