COVID-19 poses critical concerns to Native American communities. Prior to this pandemic, Native Americans already had higher rates of infectious disease severity and death than any other population in the U.S. Many of the Native peoples we serve live in crowded, multi-generational homes; effective home isolation for those at highest risk will be very difficult.
Food and water insecurity already impacts 25-40% in many rural tribal communities. Estimates indicate that more than 80% of children in many communities rely on getting their breakfast and lunch at schools that have been closed.
For many families, the COVID-19 pandemic will be devastating, economically and otherwise. Our public health teams on the frontlines know how important this work is and how vitally needed supplies and public health expertise are a lifeline for families and communities.
The Center is launching a multi-pronged strategy to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic in tribes including the Navajo Nation. The response includes a rapid public health response, an effort to produce and source Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for health care providers and responders, research, and public health communications.