Indianz.Com > COVID-19 > Indian Health Service (Department of Health and Human Services)
Posted: August 3, 2020

The Indian Health Service has updated its coronavirus data, showing results as of August 1, 2020.

According to the data, 32,525 tests have returned positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. That represents an increase of about 0.4 percent from the 32,406 cases previously reported.

Altogether, 489,960 coronavirus tests have been administered through August 1, the data shows. That marks an increase of just 0.4 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 17.6 percent are positive.

Next is the Navajo Area, which serves the largest reservation in the United States.  But even with about 15.8 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 about 9.6 percent.

On the other end of the spectrum, aggressive efforts in the Alaska Area are turning up very few cases. Out of 98,557 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, 19.1 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 29.5 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 August 1, 2020.

IHS Area Tested Positive Negative
Alaska 98,557 582 82,581
Albuquerque 33,299 1,563 22,291
Bemidji 28,595 742 25,780
Billings 37,492 818 29,987
California 7,281 446 5,934
Great Plains 36,395 1,541  34,348
Nashville 15,971 1,525  13,429
Navajo 66,754 10,559  50,376
Oklahoma City 95,805 4,851  88,102
Phoenix 44,628 7,872 36,218
Portland 19,824 1,526  17,524
Tucson 5,359  500 4,750
TOTAL 489,960 32,525 411,320

Source: https://www.ihs.gov/coronavirus/ (Indian Health Service)

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