Indianz.Com > COVID-19 > Indian Health Service (Department of Health and Human Services)
Posted: August 11, 2020

The Indian Health Service has updated its coronavirus data, showing results as of August 9, 2020.

According to the data, 35,631 tests have returned positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. That represents an increase of 0.78 percent from the 35,355  cases previously reported.

Altogether, 537,762 coronavirus tests have been administered through August 9, the data shows. That marks an increase of 0.55 percent from the day prior.

The low growth rates are typical of lulls in data seen during weekends. But 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 almost 17.1 percent are positive.

Next is the Navajo Area, which serves the largest reservation in the United States. But even with about 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 8.9 percent.

On the other end of the spectrum, aggressive efforts in the Alaska Area are turning up very few cases. Out of 106,659 tests administered in Alaska, only 0.65 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, about 21 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, 32.3 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 9, 2020.

IHS Area Tested Positive Negative
Alaska 106,659 695 89,983
Albuquerque 34,654 1,614 23,573
Bemidji 32,128 883 29,236
Billings 40,431 1,057 36,257
California 7,937 519 6,804
Great Plains 43,078 1,840 40,561
Nashville 19,629 1,755 17,490
Navajo 71,384 10,754 54,038
Oklahoma City 105,944 6,022 97,499
Phoenix 48,430 8,266 39,693
Portland 21,804 1,702 19,428
Tucson 5,684 524 5,055
TOTAL 537,762 35,631 459,617

Source: (Indian Health Service)

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