Indianz.Com > COVID-19 > Indian Health Service (Department of Health and Human Services)
Posted: August 10, 2020

The Indian Health Service has updated its coronavirus data, showing results as of August 8, 2020.

According to the data, 35,355 tests have returned positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. That represents an increase of 0.81 percent from the 35,071 cases previously reported.

Altogether, 534,843 coronavirus tests have been administered through August 8, the data shows. That marks an increase of 0.84 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 almost 17.1 percent are positive.

Next is the Navajo Area, which serves the largest reservation in the United States. But even with 15.1 percent of tests returning positive, the rate has fallen steadily over the last month, following  a noticeable decline as 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 over 8.9 percent.

On the other end of the spectrum, aggressive efforts in the Alaska Area are turning up very few cases. Out of 106,257 tests administered in Alaska, only 0.64 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, almost 20.9 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, about 32.2 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 8, 2020.

IHS Area Tested Positive Negative
Alaska 106,257 681 89,382
Albuquerque 34,420 1,608 23,336
Bemidji 32,011 878 29,126
Billings 40,195 977 36,065
California 7,937 514 6,791
Great Plains 42,362 1,811 39,870
Nashville 19,537 1,749 17,278
Navajo 71,159 10,746 53,766
Oklahoma City 105,363 5,932 96,680
Phoenix 48,349 8,257 39,604
Portland 21,577 1,679 19,180
Tucson 5,676 523 5,043
TOTAL 534,843 35,355 456,121

Source: (Indian Health Service)

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