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

The Indian Health Service has updated its coronavirus data, showing results as of August 17, 2020.

According to the data, 37,923 tests have returned positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. That represents an increase of 0.62 from the 37,690 cases previously reported.

Altogether, 585,184 coronavirus tests have been administered through August 17, the data shows. That marks an increase of nearly 1.7 percent percent from the day prior.

Overall, about 6.5 percent of IHS coronavirus tests have returned positive, according to the data. But the rate is far higher in the Phoenix Area, where 16.3 percent are positive.

Next is the Navajo Area, which serves the largest reservation in the United States. But even with about 14.7 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 8.4 percent.

On the other end of the spectrum, aggressive efforts in the Alaska Area are turning up very few cases. Out of 116, 819 tests administered in Alaska, only 0.72 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, 22.8 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, nearly 35.2 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 17, 2020.

IHS Area Tested Positive Negative
Alaska 116,819 843 99,454
Albuquerque 36,494 1,657 25,236
Bemidji 35,708 970 32,538
Billings 47,428 1,198 42,575
California 8,764 588 7,408
Great Plains 46,442 2,001 43,447
Nashville 21,791 1,835 19,395
Navajo 74,331 10,977 56,280
Oklahoma City 114,733 6,864 105,102
Phoenix 52,378 8,559 43,388
Portland 24,389 1,873 21,793
Tucson 5,907 558 5,240
TOTAL 585,184 37,923 501,856

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

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