Minnesota health officials concerned with COVID-19 rates on Native American Reservations

October 22, 2021

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota health officials say Native Americans have contracted COVID-19 at two to three times the rate of white Minnesotans over the past month.

The director of the Center for American Indian and Minority Health at the University of Minnesota, Mary Owen, says there are large pockets of unvaccinated people in the 18 to 49 age range in Minnesota’s tribal communities and across the country.

Owen attributes that in part to access to vaccines.

Owen says that’s especially concerning because Native Americans have high rates of health disparities that put them at higher risk for serious COVID-19 illness, such as diabetes.