Wisconsin's tribes have weathered COVID-19 better than tribes in other states. How did they do it?


Native American drummers make their way to the state Capitol for the annual State of the Tribes address on April 9, 2019. Wisconsin's tribes have fared better in combating COVID-19 than those in other states. AMBER ARNOLD, STATE JOURNAL ARCHIVES

Wisconsin's Native American tribes have taken aggressive steps to combat the coronavirus pandemic since January and recent data show they have fared better than other harder hit tribes across the country.

Indian Health Service reported 450 Native Americans tested positive for COVID-19 as of Wednesday across the Bemidji Area, which includes 11 federally recognized Wisconsin tribes along with reservations in Michigan and Minnesota.

That means as the state passes 40,000 positive COVID-19 cases, Native Americans account for roughly 1% of the state's caseload, which is about the same proportion of the native population of the state.



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