Navajo Nation reports 347 new COVID-19 cases, 6 more deaths

Vehicles line up at patrons wait for COVID-19 tests at a drive-thru testing center Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Navajo Nation health officials on Thursday reported 347 new COVID-19 cases and six more deaths.

In all, the tribe has now reported 18,943 cases and 699 know deaths since the pandemic began.

Navajo Department of Health officials said nearly 179,000 people on the vast reservation that includes parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah have been tested for COVID-19 and more than 10,000 have recovered.

But officials have identified 77 Navajo Nation communities with uncontrolled spread of the coronavirus since late last month.

Tribal officials said nearly all intensive care unit beds on the reservation are being used as COVID-19 cases surge.

They warn that the tribe is nearing a point where health care workers will have to make difficult decisions about providing care with limited hospital resources.

The tribe has extended its stay-at-home order though Dec. 28 in an attempt to stop the spread of the virus.

Republished with the permission of the Associated Press.