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FILE: An American flag with an image of Native American on it is attached to a fence outside a home in the East To'Hajiilee housing community in To'Hajiilee Indian Reservation (Photo by Sam Wasson/Getty Images)
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Navajo Nation Warns About Family Gatherings, Travel

FILE: An American flag with an image of Native American on it is attached to a fence outside a home in the East To'Hajiilee housing community in To'Hajiilee Indian Reservation (Photo by Sam Wasson/Getty Images)

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. – The Navajo Nation is telling residents that they should avoid family gatherings and travel off the reservation as COVID-19 cases rise in surrounding areas.

“It appears that family gatherings and people returning from border towns are the two driving forces behind recent surges in certain regions of the Navajo Nation, based on information gathered by contact tracers who interview individuals who test positive for COVID-19,” Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez said Sunday.

“We know that people are hesitant to wear masks and follow CDC guidelines when they are around family members, but the reality is that many of our people are contracting the virus at family gatherings. We are also seeing high case levels in regions near border towns, so please be safe and always wear a mask in public and practice social distancing,” Nez added.

The Navajo Department of Health confirmed 30 new cases of the virus and six more deaths on Monday, according to a news release.

The virus has killed 571 people with 10,728 positive tests and 7,339 recoveries.

The Navajo Nation will issue another 56-hour weekend lockdown to begin at 9 p.m. Friday and run until 5 a.m. Monday, the release said.

The state of Utah has organized a comprehensive website that offers information on protecting yourself from COVID-19, economic help for individuals and businesses, and other resources.

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