An Analysis of COVID-19 Infection Rates among Native American Tribal Nations in Oklahoma

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Bethany D. Bengs
Jessica D. Brumley


COVID-19, the infectious disease caused by the variant of coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, has had a significant impact in the United States. However, recent research indicates that among demographic groups, Native Americans are one of the most severely affected. This study utilized the Supreme Court case McGirt v. Oklahoma to analyze COVID-19 cases and deaths among areas in seven tribal nations in Oklahoma to determine how they have been affected by COVID-19 compared to the general population of Oklahoma. For the analysis, descriptive statistics and incidence and case-fatality rates were evaluated. Time series plots were created to illustrate the rates of new cases. Finally, multiple linear regression models were used to predict COVID-19 deaths from cases, population, and tribal status. The analysis showed that, in general, areas within tribal nations do not have significantly different COVID-19 case and death rates from the state of Oklahoma. Since these results contradict previous findings, they indicate both the need for and importance of research on COVID-19 among Native American populations.

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Applied Health & Epidemiology