WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (AP) — The Navajo Nation reported 10 new confirmed COVID-19 cases and no deaths Monday, but tribal health officials say the first case of the omicron variant has been detected on the vast reservation.
Based on cases from Dec. 17-30, the Navajo Department of Health has issued an advisory for 42 communities due to the uncontrolled spread of the coronavirus.
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The latest numbers pushed the number of cases on the Navajo Nation at 41,657 since the pandemic began. The death toll remains at 1,590.
“The first known case of the omicron variant has been found here on the Navajo Nation,” tribal President Jonathan Nez said in a statement Monday. “This is not a time to panic, but we must step up our efforts to take the necessary precautions to limit the spread of this new variant in our communities.
“Health officials recommend wearing two masks in public due to how quickly the omicron variant has spread in other parts of the world. In many parts of the country, more and more health care workers are having to isolate due to the spread of the omicron variant,” Nez added.
The reservation covers 27,000 square miles (70,000 square kilometers) and extends into parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah.