The Covid-19 pandemic hit Native Americans especially hard. But as the spotlight turned to larger communities, including the Navajo Nation, the White Mountain Apache Tribe quietly battled to save its 15,000 members. Now, more than a year since the first Covid-19 cases were recorded in the US, the tribe in eastern Arizona has slowed the spread of the disease and helped curb death rates through a combination of intense contact-tracing, surveillance of high-risk individuals and, finally, vaccinations. In addition, a team of medical professionals and tribal members has done extensive outreach with tribal members, conducting house calls to check on Covid patients to monitor vital signs and to vaccinate individuals who agree. This outreach effort helped the team form a stronger bond with tribal members, which medical workers say allowed them to get better information about who might have been exposed to the virus and respond quickly to deteriorating cases.

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