Indianz.Com > COVID-19 > Indian Health Service (Department of Health and Human Services)
Posted: August 7, 2020

The Indian Health Service has updated its coronavirus data, showing results as of August 5, 2020.

According to the data, 34,556 tests have returned positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. That represents an increase of 1.9 percent from the 33,898 cases previously reported.

Altogether, 522,091 coronavirus tests have been administered through August 5, the data shows. That marks an increase of nearly 2.2 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 17.5 percent are positive.

Next is the Navajo Area, which serves the largest reservation in the United States.  But even with 15.2 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 103,746 tests administered in Alaska, only 0.63 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, nearly 20.4 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, 31.4 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 5, 2020.

IHS Area Tested Positive Negative
Alaska 103,746 654 86,425
Albuquerque 34,007 1,596 23,087
Bemidji 30,870 841 28,251
Billings 39,719 964 35,525
California 7,714 486 6,451
Great Plains 41,626 1,768 38,963
Nashville 19,299 1,734 16,820
Navajo 69,722 10,662 52,782
Oklahoma City 102,739 5,645 94,307
Phoenix 45,747 8,018 37,267
Portland 21,317 1,668 18,903
Tucson 5,585 520 4,956
TOTAL 522,091 34,556 443,737

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

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