Indianz.Com > COVID-19 > Indian Health Service (Department of Health and Human Services)
Posted: August 12, 2020

The Indian Health Service has updated its coronavirus data, showing results as of August 10, 2020.

According to the data, 36,010 tests have returned positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. That represents an increase of almost 1.1 percent from the 35,631 cases previously reported.

Altogether, 545,377 coronavirus tests have been administered through August 10, the data shows. That marks an increase of 1.4 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 about 17 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 8.6 percent.

On the other end of the spectrum, aggressive efforts in the Alaska Area are turning up very few cases. Out of 108,261 tests administered in Alaska, only 0.66 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 21.2 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, 32.8 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 10, 2020.

IHS Area Tested Positive Negative
Alaska 108,261 712 91,021
Albuquerque 34,806 1,617 23,716
Bemidji 32,672 902 29,729
Billings 40,438 1,057 36,260
California 8,180 541 7,058
Great Plains 43,689 1,874 41,339
Nashville 20,627 1,776 18,256
Navajo 71,623 10,780 54,304
Oklahoma City 107,907 6,179 99,066
Phoenix 48,715 8,299 39,975
Portland 22,775 1,749 20,293
Tucson 5,684 524 5,055
TOTAL 545,377 36,010 466,072

Source: (Indian Health Service)

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