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Navajo Nation goes into lockdown as COVID-19 deaths rise, Live Mic: Helping Utah farmers and ranchers by feeding families, Navajo Nation reports 69 new COVID-19 cases, but no deaths
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For the first time since March, Navajo Nation reports no new cases of COVID-19

FILE: A sign reads "Navajo Monument Vally Tribal Park Closed Until Further Notice" posted at the entrance of Monument Valley in Oljato-Monument Valley, Utah, on the Navajo reservation April 19, 2020. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

WINDOW ROCK, AZ — Navajo Nation health officials reported no new cases of COVID-19 across the Navajo Nation’s healthcare facilities Tuesday.

There are 13 healthcare facilities that are encompassed within this announcement. 

“This is a milestone for the Navajo Nation,” said Speaker Seth Damon in a statement. “But it’s going to take the continuing efforts of our Navajo People to continue the reduction in numbers until a viable COVID-19 vaccine is available.”

Since March, there have been 9,903 confirmed positive cases within the Navajo Nation. With four additional deaths reported on Tuesday, the total has increased to 527. 

The Navajo Nation reports a total of 7,157 recovered cases, as well as 97,644 tests administered since March.

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Despite the positive news, Navajo epidemiologists also had news about a recent spike in cases. They said the latest spike prior to Tuesday’s report stems from a family gathering that took place a few weeks ago.

Last weekend’s Labor Day holiday is expected to produce another outbreak as families gathered following a 32-hour weekend lockdown.

A stay-at-home order was issued for the Navajo Nation in July to help slow the spread of COVID-19.  That order required residents to limit their movement inside and outside of their communities, and to only leave their residences for activities considered essential.

Earlier this year the tribe reported one of the highest per-capita rates of infection in the U.S. The reservation spreads across New Mexico, Utah and Arizona.

Further reading:

Utah-based group aims to help Navajo Nation deal with the COVID-19 pandemic

Live Mic: Navajo Nation takes on coronavirus onslaught