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Thu, July 29

Grand Canyon urges community to “stay vigilant” as Delta variant emerges locally
Navajo Nation on Grand Canyon’s east border continues mask mandate after discovery of Delta variant; park asks for continued caution

(Photo/Adobe Stock)

(Photo/Adobe Stock)

GRAND CANYON, Ariz. — On June 25, the first case of the SARS CoV-2 Delta variant was discovered on the Navajo Nation, which borders Grand Canyon National Park (GCNP).

The Delta variant has been described as a more highly-transmissible form of the virus that causes COVID-19, and is on the rise across all 50 states, accounting for a quarter of all new infections, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

“The arrival of the Delta variant in our area should remind us to stay vigilant,” said Louis Rowe, deputy superintendent of operations at GCNP. “Be smart and safe and continue to practice COVID safety measures”.

Rowe also noted that new data collected by a large number of news sources has indicated that new deaths in the U.S. from COVID-19 are almost entirely among non-vaccinated people.

“In May of this year, only 0.8 percent of deaths from COVID-19 were among vaccinated patients, Rowe said. “If you haven’t already done so, please get vaccinated, it could save your life.”

Masks still required on Navajo Nation

While the National Park Service has eased mask requirements in Grand Canyon, masks are still mandatory in all public locations across the Navajo Nation, regardless of vaccination status.

Also on the nation, a daily curfew remains active from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. to reduce the chances of spreading COVID-19.

Recently, the nation announced that social gatherings, traditional ceremonies, in-person training and outdoor recreation activities of 25 or less are now permitted, as shelter-at-home orders have been rescinded as cases have plummeted due to high vaccination rates.

As of June 30, there were six new cases, 29,615 recoveries and two more deaths on the Navajo Nation.

Total cases at Grand Canyon and Tusayan remain at 205 as of June 25. This does not include recoveries.

Grand Canyon Clinic vaccinations available

Grand Canyon Clinic is currently offering vaccinations on Thursdays by appointment.

Interested persons may call the clinic at (928) 525-6084 to schedule a visit.

The clinic has limited supplies on hand of both the Moderna and the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, as vaccination rates in Grand Canyon have slowed down.

As of June 30, the clinic has administered 2,358 total vaccines, and 1,187 are now fully vaccinated.

Currently, Coconino County is offering free COVID-19 saliva tests at Coconino Community College in Flagstaff, located at 2800 S. Lone Tree Road.

Testing is available Monday-Friday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.

More information on testing in Coconino County is available www.coconino.az.gov/2338/Testing-Information.

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