Navajo Nation reports first case of Delta variant

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The Navajo Department of Health reported three new COVID-19 cases and no additional deaths Friday.

The department also reported the first confirmed case of the Delta variant from a COVID-19 test sample that was obtained in the northern region of the Navajo Nation.

The Delta variant is more transmissible and can cause more severe illness, however, COVID-19 vaccines are shown to be effective at preventing serious illnesses from the variant.

"We have several variants on the Navajo Nation and now we have the Delta variant identified in our communities," Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez said. "This should encourage more of our people to get fully vaccinated to push back on the severity of the variants."

The total number of known deaths remains at 1,348 as previously reported.

The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases for the Navajo Nation has reached 30,979 with 29,594 recoveries.

Officials released the latest cases organized by service unit:

  • Chinle Service Unit: 5,627
  • Crownpoint Service Unit: 2,977
  • Ft. Defiance Service Unit: 3,678
  • Gallup Service Unit: 4,909
  • Kayenta Service Unit: 2,742
  • Shiprock Service Unit: 5,274
  • Tuba City Service Unit: 3,762
  • Winslow Service Unit: 1,991
  • 19 residences are not specific enough to be placed in an accurate service unit

The Navajo Department of Health lifted the nation’s stay-at-home order last week, easing restrictions to allow in-person meetings and ceremonies of 25 people or fewer and drive-thru gatherings of up to 100 vehicles.