Indianz.Com > COVID-19 > Indian Health Service (Department of Health and Human Services)
Posted: July 15, 2020

The Indian Health Service has updated its coronavirus testing data, showing results as of July 13, 2020.

According to the data, 25,000 tests have returned positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. That represents an increase of 2 percent from the 24,506 cases previously reported.

Altogether, 365,124 coronavirus tests have been administered through July 13, the data shows. That represents an increase of nearly 2.8 percent from the day prior.

In both instances, the relatively low growth rates can be attributed to lull in data seen during weekends.

Overall, about 6.8 percent of IHS coronavirus tests have returned positive, according to the data. But the rate is far higher in the Phoenix Area, where about 18.5 percent are positive.

Closely following is Navajo Area, which serves the largest reservation in the United States.  But even with about 17.3 percent tests returning positive, the rate has held steady in the last several days following a slow but noticeable decline from the region with the highest rate.

The Nashville Area, which covers a wide area of Indian Country, including the South and Northeastern parts of the U.S., also continues to show a high positive rate of about 10.4 percent.

On the other end of the spectrum, aggressive efforts in the Alaska Area are turning up very few cases. Out of 68,367 tests administered in Alaska, only 0.43 percent have returned positive, the data shows.

The Alaska Area also outnumbers every other area — including Navajo —  in terms of tests administered, with the exception of the Oklahoma City Area.

The data, however, is incomplete. While 100 percent of facilities run directly by the IHS are reporting data, only 33 percent of tribally managed facilities and 44 percent of urban Indian organizations are doing the same, the agency has told Indianz.Com.

The agency also provided to Indianz.Com the service population for 2019: 2,562,290. Based on that figure, about 14.2 percent of American Indians and Alaska Natives have been tested for the coronavirus since the IHS began reporting data in March.

The IHS user population, on the other hand, is a much smaller number. As of 2019, 1,662,834 American Indians and Alaska Natives have lived within a service delivery area and have received health care at an IHS or tribal facility during the previous three years.

Based on the user population, nearly 22 percent of Native Americans have been tested for the coronavirus since the IHS began reporting data in March.

COVID-19 Cases by IHS Area

Data are reported from IHS, tribal, and urban Indian organization facilities, though reporting by tribal and urban programs is voluntary. Data reflect cases reported to the IHS through 11:59 pm on July 13, 2020.

IHS Area Tested Positive Negative
Alaska 68,367 295 56,585
Albuquerque 25,467 1,329 16,293
Bemidji 19,089 450 17,194
Billings 29,721 506 25,331
California 5,478 241 4,378
Great Plains 28,028 1,234 25,899
Nashville 12,525 1,301 10,402
Navajo 53,444 9,274 40,003
Oklahoma City 69,600 2,423 63,866
Phoenix 35,023 6,470 27,625
Portland 14,334 1,107 12,422
Tucson 4,048 370 3,546
TOTAL 365,124 25,000 303,544

Source: (Indian Health Service)

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