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COVID-19 update, Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2022: Omicron detected on Navajo Nation, skyrocketing new cases statewide

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The Navajo Nation reported 10 new confirmed COVID-19 cases and no deaths Monday, but tribal health officials said the first case of the omicron variant has been detected.

Based on cases from Dec. 17-30, the Navajo Department of Health has issued an advisory for 42 communities due to uncontrolled spread of the coronavirus.

The latest numbers pushed the number of cases on the Navajo Nation at 41,657 since the pandemic began. The death roll remains at 1,590.

Tribal President Jonathan Nez says health officials recommend wearing two masks in public due to how quickly the omicron variant has spread in other parts of the world.

Meanwhile, Arizona health officials are reporting the highest number of new COVID-19 cases in a year.

Monday's 14,192 new cases were the most ever tallied in a day except for Jan. 3, 2021, when more than 17,000 cases were counted.

The state Health Services Department said the new case count was boosted by lower than normal counts on Sunday, when just 701 new cases were reported. The state did say there has been a steep upward trend of cases in recent days.

The state reported no new deaths on Monday and just one on Sunday, bringing the total number of pandemic deaths to 24,355.