We Can Do This Indian Country
January 10, 2022
What some are calling the fifth surge since the pandemic began almost two years ago, the Omicron variant is causing an unprecedented spike in COVID-19 cases and causing a severe strain on hospital capacity across the country. On Friday, NBC News reported COVID cases were up 204 percent as compared to the two prior weeks.
At mid-week, Indian Health Service (IHS) Chief Medical Officer Dr. Loretta Christensen provided Native News Online a statement that said all 12 service areas serving Indian Country have seen "a significant increase" of positive COVID-19 cases in the last few weeks. The positivity rate more than tripled from the day after Christmas through the new year, compared to the week leading up to the holiday, IHS data shows.
We know since the beginning of the pandemic Indian Country has already suffered greatly. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that American Indians and Alaska Natives were 3.3 times more likely to be hospitalized and 2.2 times more likely to die from COVID-19 than their white counterparts.