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WASHINGTON — The National Indian Health Board released the following statement from its CEO, Stacy A. Bohlen (Sault Ste. Marie Chippewa) on Friday afternoon.

There has been a flurry of Covid-19 updates in recent weeks, but this one is essential. The highly contagious Delta variant continues to surge, and we must keep the Nation’s Tribes and communities safe, healthy, and protected. Please consider the following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC) and National Indian Health Board(NIHB) recommendations and resources to protect yourself and others from Covid-19. 

The Delta variant’s impact continues to unfold, and with it, Tribal policies change, and mandatory mask-mandates are re-emerging, NIHB’s Act of Love vaccination and safe practices campaign can help. According to the CDC, a layered approach is the best way to reduce your risk of catching and spreading Covid-19. This approach includes Acts of Love like getting vaccinated, wearing a mask – especially in areas of substantial and high transmission – practicing physical distancing, washing your hands, and encouraging others to get vaccinated. 

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The Act of Love campaign urges American Indians and Alaska Natives to wear a mask to protect our elders, youth, and other vulnerable community members. We further protect Tribal communities by getting vaccinated, hand washing, keeping our distance. Getting vaccinated and urging others to get vaccinated. NIHB is committed to reinforcing that these healthy Native communities' measures are not political-they are caring and, therefore, Acts is Love.  To learn more about the NIHB Act of Love campaign and order toolkits for your community members, go to this website.  

Now, more than ever, these community-centric Acts of Love are needed in order to keep Tribal communities safe and healthy. We must renew our efforts in the fight against Covid-19. The Covid-19 vaccines are our strongest tool we have to combat this virus and the unvaccinated remain at greatest risk of catching and spreading Covid-19 in Tribal communities. The Covid-19 vaccines are now fully approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for anyone age 16 and up and are safe and effective.   

For more information on how to fight Covid-19 in your Tribal community, please use these resources: 

NIHB Webinar Recording: Response to the Delta Variant in Tribal Communities 8/16/21 

NIHB Resource: Questions to Ask Your Provider About the Covid-19 Vaccine 

CDC Covid-19 Resources for Tribal Communities  

Indian Health Service (IHS) Covid-19 Resources  

NIHB Covid-19 Tribal Resource Center 

If you would like more information about the Act of Love campaign or would like additional support with fighting Covid-19, contact Darby Galligher at [email protected].  

May the Blessing of Health be with you and your Nation.  

Miigwech-Thank you, 

Stacy A. Bohlen, Sault Ste. Marie Chippewa 
Chief Executive Officer 
National Indian Health Board 

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Author: Native News Online Staff