WINDOW ROCK, Ariz.  – Since the Delta variant emerged on the nation’s largest American Indian reservation, cases of the coronavirus have continued to increase there.

Navajo Nation officials have implemented an “Orange” alert status, which requires schools to take extra safety precautions for students, limits gathering, and sets some restrictions on businesses. Tribal officials are also urging residents on the Navajo Nation to avoid unecessary travel or gatherings off the reservation.

Tribal Health officials have said that uncontrolled outbreaks in communities across the Navajo Nation are being caused by social gatherings and travel.

In most parts of the United States, cases of the virus are beginning to decrease. However, cases in northern U.S. states are increasing. Health experts speculate that as the weather turns colder and people gather indoors, cases will continue to increase.

Face masks are still required indoors and outdoors, regardless of vaccination status, while on the Navajo Nation.