First omicron case detected on Navajo Nation

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WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (AP) — The Navajo Nation reported 10 new confirmed COVID-19 cases and no deaths Monday but tribal health officials said 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 uncontrolled spread of the coronavirus.

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.

Tribal President Jonathan Nez says health officials recommend wearing two masks in public due to how quickly the omicron variant has spread in other parts of the world.

The reservation covers 27,000 square miles and extends into parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah.