Indianz.Com > COVID-19 > Indian Health Service (Department of Health and Human Services)
Posted: August 13, 2020

The Indian Health Service has updated its coronavirus data, showing results as of August 11, 2020.

According to the data, 36,380 tests have returned positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. That represents an increase of 1 percent from the 36,010 cases previously reported.

Altogether, 552,064 coronavirus tests have been administered through August 11, the data shows. That marks an increase of 1.2 percent from the day prior.

Overall, nearly 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 16.9 percent are positive.

Next is the Navajo Area, which serves the largest reservation in the United States. But even with about 14.9 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 almost 8.6 percent.

On the other end of the spectrum, aggressive efforts in the Alaska Area are turning up very few cases. Out of 109,768 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, about 21.5 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, 33.2 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 11, 2020.

IHS Area Tested Positive Negative
Alaska 109,768 723 91,951
Albuquerque 35,063 1,622 23,858
Bemidji 33,118 908 30,105
Billings 41,228 1,108 36,962
California 8,298 550 7,154
Great Plains 44,118 1,885 41,783
Nashville 20,928 1,792 18,402
Navajo 72,283 10,809 54,602
Oklahoma City 108,835 6,293 99,940
Phoenix 49,627 8,375 40,782
Portland 23,024 1,770 20,510
Tucson 5,774 545 5,117
TOTAL 552,064 36,380 471,166

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

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