Indianz.Com > COVID-19 > Indian Health Service (Department of Health and Human Services)
Posted: July 23, 2020

The Indian Health Service has updated its coronavirus data, showing results as of July 21, 2020.

According to the data, 28,638 tests have returned positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. That represents an increase of 2.6 percent from the 27,907 cases previously reported.

Altogether, 427,789 coronavirus tests have been administered through July 21, the data shows. That marks an increase of 3 percent from the day prior.

Overall, nearly 6.7 percent of IHS coronavirus tests have returned positive, according to the data. But the rate is far higher in the Phoenix Area, where 17.2 percent are positive.

Closely following is Navajo Area, which serves the largest reservation in the United States.  But even with 16.6 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 10.1 percent.

On the other end of the spectrum, aggressive efforts in the Alaska Area are turning up very few cases. Out of 81,245 tests administered in Alaska, only 0.47 percent have returned positive, the data shows.

The Alaska Area also outnumbers nearly every other area — including Navajo —  in terms of tests administered. The Oklahoma City Area reclaims the top spot with the July 21 data, but only by 743 tests.

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, 16.7 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, 25.7 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 21, 2020.

IHS Area Tested Positive Negative
Alaska 81,245 381 69,582
Albuquerque 29,091 1,448 19,750
Bemidji 23,330 564 20,929
Billings 35,301 633 27,353
California 6,231 349 4,830
Great Plains 32,862 1,383 30,733
Nashville 13,842 1,403 11,350
Navajo 60,470 10,052 45,176
Oklahoma City 81,988 3,446 75,111
Phoenix 42,168 7,282 36,416
Portland 16,468 1,257 14,352
Tucson 4,793 440 4,245
TOTAL 427,789 28,638 359,827

Source: (Indian Health Service)

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