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Navajo Nation finds U.K. variant on the reservation as they see cases drop

Posted at 5:52 PM, Mar 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-30 21:58:07-04

SAN JUAN COUNTY, Utah — The Navajo Nation announced on Tuesday morning they have found a case of the U.K. variant of COVID-19. It's the first such case known on America's biggest reservation.

The person with the variant is a man in his 80s in the Western part of the reservation, according to Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez.

Talking In-Depth on Fox 13's Live@Noon, Nez said the discovery leads him to think he should remain cautious in reopening.

"We're doing our very best to slowly get back to some normalcy, but with news of this new variant we may have to reevaluate some of the slow steps to reopening here on the Navajo nation, especially when it comes to our visitors," said Nez.

The Nation remains under daily shutdown orders from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. and visitors are not allowed on reservation lands.

Aside from the variant, the Navajo have seen a steep drop in case numbers, with a daily average of eight new positive tests compared to winter highs over 250.

Utah has seen a similar decline in cases over the same period, but Utah is reopening as the nation is seeing an uptick of cases that has led to new warnings from the Centers for Disease Control.