Indianz.Com > COVID-19 > Indian Health Service (Department of Health and Human Services)
Posted: August 5, 2020

The Indian Health Service has updated its coronavirus data, showing results as of August 3, 2020.

According to the data, 33,417 tests have returned positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. That represents an increase of 1.4 percent from the 32,955 cases previously reported.

Altogether, 502,860 coronavirus tests have been administered through August 3, the data shows. That marks an increase of 1.2 percent from the day prior.

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

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 almost 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 8.9 percent.

On the other end of the spectrum, aggressive efforts in the Alaska Area are turning up very few cases. Out of 100,283 tests administered in Alaska, only 0.62 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, 19.6 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, 30.2 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 3, 2020.

IHS Area Tested Positive Negative
Alaska 100,283 622 84,297
Albuquerque 33,645 1,574 22,582
Bemidji 29,583 773 27,102
Billings 37,543 821 30,132
California 7,493 458 6,195
Great Plains 39,260 1,677 36,906
Nashville 18,832 1,686 16,227
Navajo 67,200 10,602 50,880
Oklahoma City 97,997 5,178 90,546
Phoenix 45,059 7,920 36,563
Portland 20,508 1,603 18,150
Tucson 5,457 503 4,844
TOTAL 502,860 33,417 424,424

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

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