Navajo Nation reports 71 more COVID-19 cases, 2 more deaths

(Adriana Zehbrauskas | The New York Times) The Chinle Community and Veterans Cemetery in Chinle, Ariz., on the Navajo Nation Reservation, is shown on May 26, 2020. "The Navajo have had more people infected with the coronavirus per capita than any state in the country," writes Nicholas Kristof.

Window Rock, Ariz. • Navajo Nation health officials have reported 71 additional cases of COVID-19 and two more known deaths.

A total of 7,804 people on the vast reservation that spans parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah have tested positive, with 337 known deaths as of Saturday night.

Tribal Department of Health officials said reports from all 12 health care facilities on and near the Navajo Nation indicate that 58,440 people have been tested and 5,543 have recovered from COVID-19.

The number of infections is thought to be far higher because many people have not been tested, and studies suggest people can be infected with the virus without feeling sick.

The coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms such as fever and cough for most people.

But for some — especially older adults and people with existing health problems — it can cause more severe illness including pneumonia, and death.

Tribal police and the New Mexico National Guard are enforcing a weekend curfew on the Navajo Nation as officials on the sprawling reservation continue to try to contain the coronavirus outbreak.

The curfew that started at 8 p.m. Friday and expires at 5 a.m. Monday is the first of three consecutive weekend lockdowns on the reservation.