Indianz.Com > COVID-19 > Indian Health Service (Department of Health and Human Services)
Posted: July 25, 2020

The Indian Health Service has updated its coronavirus data, showing results as of July 23, 2020.

According to the data, 29,420 tests have returned positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. That represents an increase of about 1.5 percent from the 28,987 cases previously reported.

Altogether, 442,388 coronavirus tests have been administered through July 23, the data shows. That marks an increase of about 1.6 percent from the day prior.

The relatively low growth in positive cases and tests is unusual for a day-to-day comparison during the week. Typically, the rates only drop during weekends but the data from July 21, July 22 and July 23 indicates a slowdown in coronavirus testing activity within the IHS.

Overall, about 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 about 17 percent are positive.

Closely following is Navajo Area, which serves the largest reservation in the United States.  But even with about 16.5 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 10.1 percent.

On the other end of the spectrum, aggressive efforts in the Alaska Area are turning up very few cases. Out of 84,730 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 retains the top spot, but only by 574 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, about 17.3 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, 26.6 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 23, 2020.

IHS Area Tested Positive Negative
Alaska 84,730 399 71,230
Albuquerque 30,014 1,461 20,347
Bemidji 24,271 600 21,703
Billings 36,108 642 28,490
California 6,475 366 5,042
Great Plains 33,173 1,390 30,966
Nashville 14,207 1,428 11,692
Navajo 62,007 10,222 45,889
Oklahoma City 85,304 3,686 77,822
Phoenix 44,067 7,462 38,889
Portland 17,109 1,316 14,934
Tucson 4,923 448 4,363
TOTAL 442,388 29,420 371,367

Source: (Indian Health Service)

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