Indianz.Com > COVID-19 > Indian Health Service (Department of Health and Human Services)
Posted: August 6, 2020

The Indian Health Service has updated its coronavirus data, showing results as of August 4, 2020.

According to the data, 33,898 tests have returned positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. That represents an increase of 1.4 percent from the 33,417 cases previously reported.

Altogether, 510,889 coronavirus tests have been administered through August 4, the data shows. That marks an increase of 1.6 percent from the day prior.

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 about 17.6 percent are positive.

Next is the Navajo Area, which serves the largest reservation in the United States.  But even with nearly 15.7 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 almost 9 percent.

On the other end of the spectrum, aggressive efforts in the Alaska Area are turning up very few cases. Out of 102,132 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, 19.9 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, 30.7 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 August 4, 2020.

IHS Area Tested Positive Negative
Alaska 102,132 632 85,314
Albuquerque 33,791 1,576 22,691
Bemidji 30,116 799 27,538
Billings 37,757 838 30,363
California 7,613 467 6,307
Great Plains 39,856 1,689 37,422
Nashville 19,115 1,714 16,617
Navajo 67,904 10,638 51,232
Oklahoma City 100,636 5,424 92,609
Phoenix 45,427 7,977 36,955
Portland 21,003 1,628 18,624
Tucson 5,539 516 4,912
TOTAL 510,889 33,898 430,584

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

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