The New York Times reported some welcome news this week regarding COVID-19 cases in Navajo Nation: Due to a successful vaccination campaign in which half the population is already vaccinated, as well as strict adherence to mitigation measures, Navajo Nation had zero cases and zero deaths in a 24 hour period.
This is particularly striking as Navajo Nation previously had one of the worst rates of COVID-19 cases in the United States. Early reporting from the pandemic showed that American Indians and Alaska Natives were 3-5 times more likely to be diagnosed with the COVID-19 than non-Hispanic whites, and their mortality rate was almost twice as high.
Despite the recent welcome news, the article cautioned that warning signs were ahead; there was a confirmed case in Navajo Nation of the highly contagious and more lethal COVID-19 variant first seen in the U.K., as well as the general concern among health officials of a possible looming surge in cases.
The Center for Medicare Advocacy (the Center), continues to highlight COVID-19 data and resources showing the higher burden of illness from COVID-19 in communities of color. The Center aims to call attention to the ongoing, harmful health disparities exposed by the pandemic.