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Navajo Nation hits record COVID-19 cases, but vaccination rates climb

Vaccine
Posted at 4:09 PM, Jan 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-15 18:09:23-05

The Navajo Nation is seeing a record number of COVID-19 cases reported in a single day, with more than 400 new cases documented on Thursday and over 500 on Friday.

The 405 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday marked the single highest daily case count since the pandemic began. The number crept even higher on Friday, with 525 reported.

However, despite the case counts in the triple digits for nearly a week, President Jonathan Nez said there was a much lower case count when it comes to deaths.

Over the past week, there were a total of six deaths on Navajo Nation.

Nez acknowledges that every death is a person, and a family member, but he attributes the low death count to their high vaccination rates.

“I hope that people can see that a highly vaccinated region can save lives and push back on COVID-19,” said Nez.

As of Friday, 87% of those 65 and older have been vaccinated with two doses, and overall 72.5% are vaccinated with two doses.

Nez tells ABC15 that they are changing how they define "fully vaccinated" on Navajo Nation by making it two doses plus a booster.

To increase booster shots, Nez signed an executive order on Monday that requires all government workers there to have a booster shot.

“I don’t know if that’s happened throughout the country yet and any other organization, so fully vaccinated means three shots now,” said Nez.