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The Navajo Nation has reported 309 new COVID-19 cases and two deaths between Saturday and Tuesday. Two hundred-forty of these cases were on Saturday or Sunday. 

“We are hopeful that we will not see a big increase in new COVID-19 cases due to the Father’s Day holiday this past weekend,” Vice President Myron Lizer said in a statement on Tuesday. “This pandemic continues to challenge many of our people, but through our faith and the strength we gain through the compassion of our loved ones, we remain strong. Please remember to pray each day and continue to be very cautious.”

Navajo County and Apache County are at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s high community level for COVID-19. On Tuesday, the number of Navajo Nation communities experiencing “uncontrolled spread” of the virus increased to 60, based on COVID-19 rates between June 3 and 16. On June 13, the Navajo Nation had issued health advisories to 40 communities experiencing uncontrolled spread. 

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Guidance for residents includes getting vaccinated, wearing a mask in public, social distancing and limiting gatherings with individuals outside their immediate households. 

On the Friday before Father’s Day weekend, the Navajo Nation reported 124 new cases and two recent deaths related to COVID-19. The tribe defines its new case numbers as the number of positive COVID-19 tests within the previous 72 hours. It has remained in the “yellow status” of its reopening plan

The number of reported new cases declined to 65 on Wednesday, with three deaths. The Nation also reported 92 delayed reported cases on Tuesday and 65 on Wednesday. 

On Tuesday, Nez encouraged parents to follow the CDC’s recommendation that children between six months and five years-old receive the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine. 

“If you have a child within this age range, our public health experts strongly recommend that your child receive the vaccine to help protect against severe illness caused by COVID-19,” Nez said in the statement. “We are in this together and we all have a part to play in reducing the spread of COVID-19 in our households and within our communities. Please continue to take precautions and to mask up in public places.”

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The Native News Health Desk is made possible by a generous grant from the National Institute for Health Care Management Foundation as well as sponsorship support from RxDestroyer, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and the American Dental Association. This grant funding and sponsorship support have no effect on editorial consideration in Native News Online. 
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Andrew Kennard
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Reporting Intern
Andrew Kennard is a freelance writer for Native News Online. Kennard, a junior at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, has interned with Native News Online for two summers. He has also done freelance reporting for the Iowa Capital Dispatch and the Wisconsin Examiner, and he is a beat writer at The Times-Delphic, Drake's student newspaper.