Indianz.Com > COVID-19 > Indian Health Service (Department of Health and Human Services)
Posted: July 16, 2020

The Indian Health Service has updated its coronavirus testing data, showing results as of July 14, 2020.

According to the data, 25,591 tests have returned positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. That represents an increase of nearly 2.4 percent from the 25,000 cases previously reported.

Altogether, 375,966 coronavirus tests have been administered through July 14, the data shows. That represents an increase of nearly 3 percent from the day prior.

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 nearly 18.4 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 70,818 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, nearly 14.7 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, 22.6 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 14, 2020.

IHS Area Tested Positive Negative
Alaska 70,818 303 58,321
Albuquerque 26,032 1,360 16,762
Bemidji 19,773 471 17,726
Billings 31,596 542 26,436
California 5,657 254 4,496
Great Plains 28,754 1,246 26,432
Nashville 12,739 1,324 10,529
Navajo 54,460 9,433 40,702
Oklahoma City 71,053 2,532 65,266
Phoenix 35,935 6,600 28,432
Portland 14,959 1,141 12,955
Tucson 4,190 385 3,680
TOTAL 375,966 25,591 311,737

Source: (Indian Health Service)

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