Indianz.Com > COVID-19 > Indian Health Service (Department of Health and Human Services)
Posted: August 2, 2020

The Indian Health Service has updated its coronavirus data, showing results as of July 31, 2020.

According to the data, 32,406 tests have returned positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. That represents an increase of just 0.9 percent from the 32,126 cases previously reported.

Altogether, 487,937 coronavirus tests have been administered through July 31, the data shows. That marks an increase of only 0.9 percent from the day prior.

The low growth rates in positive cases and tests have reflected an emerging trend. Since July 21, there has been a slowdown in coronavirus activity within the IHS.

Overall, 6.6 percent of IHS coronavirus tests have returned positive, according to the data. But the rate is far higher in the Phoenix Area, where nearly 17.7 percent are positive.

Next is the Navajo Area, which serves the largest reservation in the United States.  But even with about 15.9 percent of 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 9.5 percent.

On the other end of the spectrum, aggressive efforts in the Alaska Area are turning up very few cases. Out of 97,449 tests administered in Alaska, only 0.59 percent have returned positive, the data shows.

The Alaska Area also outnumbers every other area — including Navajo —  in terms of tests administered. The Oklahoma City Area has fallen back to the second spot.

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, 19 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, 29.3 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 31, 2020.

IHS Area Tested Positive Negative
Alaska 97,449 576 81,609
Albuquerque 33,267 1,563 22,872
Bemidji 28,425 722 25,587
Billings 37,489 818 29,986
California 7,281 446 5,934
Great Plains 36,395 1,541  34,348
Nashville 15,956 1,517  13,223
Navajo 66,406 10,524  49,893
Oklahoma City 95,647 4,827  87,918
Phoenix 44,439 7,846 36,041
Portland 19,824 1,526  17,524
Tucson 5,359 500 4,750
TOTAL 487,937 32,406 409,685

Source: (Indian Health Service)

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