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Navajo Nation now has 1,637 coronavirus cases and 59 deaths

(Zak Podmore | Tribune file photo) A sign outside the Navajo Nation community of Halchita, Utah, announces the nightly curfew for Navajo Nation residents on Friday, April 17, 2020.

Window Rock, Ariz. • The Navajo Nation has 97 new cases of coronavirus and another death, according to health officials.

The Navajo Department of Health said there are 1,637 known coronavirus infections across the reservation as of Saturday evening and 59 people have died.

The numbers don’t include cases from towns that border the vast reservation that spans parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah.

Updated totals of cases and deaths are expected Sunday afternoon.

Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez said the big increase in cases is partially due to increased testing.

To date, there is a total of 7,393 negative test results.

Tribal authorities are again enforcing a weekend curfew in effect until 5 a.m. Monday, and Nez says more stringent patrols are planned. People caught violating the curfew face up to 30 days in jail and fines up to $1,000.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is building temporary hospital beds in Gallup and Shiprock, N.M., as well as Chinle, Ariz., to care for COVID-19 patients.

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