Navajo Nation reports 118 new COVID-19 cases, 15 more deaths

A sign reads "Navajo Monument Vally Tribal Park Closed Until Further Notice" posted at the entrance of Monument Valley in Oljato-Monument Valley, Utah, on the Navajo reservation Sunday, April 19, 2020. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Navajo Nation health officials on Tuesday reported 118 new COVID-19 cases and 15 more deaths.

The latest figures increased the tribe’s totals since the pandemic began to 23,978 cases and 837 known deaths.

Health officials said nearly 209,000 people have been tested for the coronavirus on the reservation and more than 12,500 have recovered.

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

On Monday, the Navajo Department of Health identified 73 communities with uncontrolled spread of COVID-19 on the tribe’s vast reservation that covers parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah.

The Navajo Nation has renewed a mandated lockdown requiring all residents to stay home except for emergencies, shopping for essentials like food and medicine or traveling to an essential job. The lockdown is slated to last until Jan. 11..

Republished with the permission of the Associated Press.