The Cherokee Nation is donating thousands of KN95 masks to first responders and emergency personnel in northeastern Oklahoma and to the Navajo Nation.
More than 2,500 KN95 masks are headed to firefighters, police officers and other emergency personnel across the tribe's 14 counties. Many first responders in the area say it's been difficult to obtain personal protective equipment for staff.
Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. said the tribe's own supply of PPE's was in pretty good shape and they wanted to help.
"We looked out across our region and one of the first things we identified was first responders. They are the first line of assistance our Cherokee citizens encounter," Hoskin Jr. said.
Cherokee Nation also sent more than 5,000 masks to the Navajo Nation. Hoskin Jr. cited the high number of cases there.
"Today it's the Navajo Nation that's in the situation. Who knows, the next time something like this happens it could be Cherokee Nation," Hoskin Jr. said. "And we just believe in helping out each other to the extent that we responsibly can. And I felt like we could and I believe it will be of great help to their health system.
Hoskin Jr. says the Cherokee Nation's health care system has been handling the outbreak well. So far there have been 63 cases and two deaths due to COVID 19 among Cherokee citizens.
The journalists at KOSU are proud to bring you trustworthy and relevant reporting about the coronavirus. If you find this work valuable, please consider supporting us with a financial gift. Here's how.