COVID-19 7-Day Rolling Average For Native Americans Is Highest In Oklahoma

Friday, July 30th 2021, 6:49 pm
By: Erica Rankin

The Oklahoma City Area Director for Indian Health Services said they have seen a rise in positivity for COVID-19. 

Which concerned him but didn’t surprise him due to the spread of the virus in Oklahoma. 

“The American Indian communities in Oklahoma are integrated with all Oklahoma communities,” said Adm. Travis Watts, the OKC area director. “Through the pandemic we noticed a tight relationship between how the state of Oklahoma goes is how the American Indian communities go as far as positivity rate and cases.”

Oklahoma’s positivity rate has been increasing for the last couple of weeks and has reached nearly 20% for the 7-day average. 

In turn, the 7-day average positivity rate in the American Indian community has been rising and is the highest in the country. 

The 7-day average is 12.9%, the top percentage of all IHS areas. 

“There’s so much interconnection between all communities in Oklahoma,” said Watts. 

Watts said they have been diligently focusing on getting their communities vaccinated. 

“We vaccinated more folks in the last week than we have in the last six weeks,” said Watts. 

They have also been working on combating any misinformation about the vaccine. 

“We are going to our schools,” said Watts. “We are going to our community centers and churches. We are going places where people are instead of them coming to our clinics, we're going to them."

They want to speak with people to make sure they are armed with the right information to make their decision on vaccination. 

According to HIS, about 375,000 doses of the vaccine have been administered in the Oklahoma City area.