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Navajo Nation Reports No New COVID-19 Cases Or Deaths

Coverage of tribal natural resources is supported in part by Catena Foundation

The Navajo Nation has managed a dramatic turnaround after a widespread COVID-19 outbreak on the reservation this winter. On Tuesday, the tribe  reported zero new cases and no deaths. 

“It’s remarkable," Navajo Nation president Jonathan Nez said in a  town hall video Wednesday, "It’s because of the hard work that each and every one of you are doing, Navajo citizens. Thank you.” 

The reservation, which has about 170,000 residents, had been reporting as many as 400 cases per day in November. The Navajo Nation has seen a higher rate of death from COVID-19 than any U.S. state or any country in the world. But the seven-day average for new cases on the reservation is now at its lowest point since last March, hovering in the single-digits. Nez credits tribal citizens for their compliance with strict mitigation measures, including months of curfews and business closures. 

“But when I congratulate you, I’m also saying we can’t let up, right? We’ve got to continue to do what we’re doing to push back on the virus," Nez said in the town hall. 

Many  business restrictions remain on the reservation, including 25% indoor capacity limits.

→  The Navajo Nation Took A Hard Stance Against COVID-19; Experts Say It Worked

Katherine Davis-Young is a senior field correspondent reporting on a variety of issues, including public health and climate change.