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More Than One-Third COVID-19 Deaths In Montana Were Native Americans

Graph showing Active COVID-19 Cases in Missoula County spiking from under 100 cases to nearly 700 cases, from July, 30 to Oct. 27, 2020.
Missoula City-County Health Department
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A micropscopic image of the novel coronavirus.

The most recent data analysis this week by Montana’s Department of Health and Human Services revealed more about COVID-19’s impact on Native Americans. 

New analysis from the state health department shows Native Americans account for less than 7 percent of Montana’s population but were 36 percent of the 22 people who had died from Covid-19.

The report from Montana’s Department of Health and Human Services also found that Native Americans represent 15 percent of the state’s total cases, more than double their representation in Montana’s population.

Public health experts have said that multigenerational housing and underlying health conditions can contribute to higher rates of infection and mortality from Covid-19 among Indigenous people.

Kaitlyn Nicholas covers tribal news in Montana.