MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The Minnesota Department of Human Services announced that home health care tools will be sent to Native American elders to help protect them during the COVID-19 pandemic.

On Tuesday, the DHS announced that blood pressure monitors, pulse oximeters, and other technologies that aid in telemedicine and behavioral health visits are currently on their way to local elders in communities in the Minnesota area.

Under a grant agreement with DHS, the Native American Community Clinic in South Minneapolis and the Northwest Indian Community Development Center in Bemidji distribute the tools for infection prevention.

“Simple devices can help people stay healthy at home, save lives and make a real difference,” said Jodi Harpstead, Commissioner for Human Services. “This is a smart, focused approach to helping Minnesota indigenous communities.”

With federal help from the Coronavirus Relief Fund, more than $ 500,000 will be used to provide equipment and technology for the local elders at risk.

The data shows that the local population was disproportionately affected by COVID-19 infections and deaths during the pandemic.