160 new COVID cases on Navajo Nation

In this May 2 photo, Arizona National Guard members set up a medical station in Chinle on the Navajo reservation to support COVID-19 health care. (Photo by U.S. Air National Guard Tech. Sgt. Michael Matkin/Creative Commons, File)

The Associated Press

In all, the tribe has reported 19,929 cases resulting in 727 deaths

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (AP) — Navajo Nation health officials on Tuesday reported 160 new COVID-19 cases and five more related deaths. 

In all, the tribe now has reported 19,929 coronavirus cases resulting in 727 deaths since the pandemic began.

Health officials say more than 185,000 people on the vast reservation that covers parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah have been tested and nearly 11,000 have recovered from COVID-19.

Navajo Department of Health officials say 77 communities on the reservation still have uncontrolled spread of the coronavirus.

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

On Monday, Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer visited the Gallup Indian Medical Center as the first vaccine shipment arrived.

The tribe expected a total of 3,900 coronavirus vaccine doses to be delivered Tuesday with about 7,900 more doses arriving next week.

Those vaccines will cover healthcare workers, emergency medical staff, traditional practitioners working in Indian Health Service facilities, and the staff and patients in long-term nursing facilities.

The Navajo Nation has extended its stay-at-home order though Dec. 28 in an attempt to stop the spread of the virus.

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