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Navajo Nation reports 53 new COVID-19 cases, 7 more deaths

A handcrafted sign tells motorists they are leaving the community of Teesto, Ariz., on the Navajo Nation on Feb. 11, 2021. Teesto workers, health representatives, volunteers and neighbors keep close tabs on another to ensure the most vulnerable citizens get the help they need. (AP Photo/Felicia Fonseca)

The Navajo Nation has reported 53 new COVID-19 cases and seven additional deaths.

The latest numbers released Saturday pushed the Navajo Nation’s total to 32,907 cases since the pandemic began more than a year ago and 1,414 known deaths.

Tribal President Jonathan Nez is pleading for residents not to leave the reservation over the Labor Day weekend.

Nez previously said all Navajo Nation executive branch employees will need to be fully vaccinated against the virus by the end of September or submit to regular testing.

The new rules apply to full, part-time and temporary employees, including those working for tribal enterprises like utilities, shopping centers and casinos.