Indianz.Com > COVID-19 > Indian Health Service (Department of Health and Human Services)
Posted: August 14, 2020

The Indian Health Service has updated its coronavirus data, showing results as of August 12, 2020.

According to the data, 36,761 tests have returned positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. That represents an increase of 1.05 percent from the 36,380 cases previously reported.

Altogether, 558,064 coronavirus tests have been administered through August 12, the data shows. That marks an increase of 1.09 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 16.7 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 111,349 tests administered in Alaska, only 0.67 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 21.8 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, almost 33.6 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 12, 2020.

IHS Area Tested Positive Negative
Alaska 111,349 748 93,044
Albuquerque 35,278 1,642 24,147
Bemidji 33,804 917 30,939
Billings 41,337 1,128 37,001
California 8,453 568 7,265
Great Plains 44,118 1,885 41,783
Nashville 21,076 1,806 18,523
Navajo 72,753 10,876 54,967
Oklahoma City 110,390 6,445 101,105
Phoenix 50,426 8,405 41,546
Portland 23,306 1,796 20,810
Tucson 5,774 545 5,117
TOTAL 558,064 36,761 476,247

Source: (Indian Health Service)

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