Indianz.Com > COVID-19 > Indian Health Service (Department of Health and Human Services)
Posted: August 20, 2020

The Indian Health Service has updated its coronavirus data, showing results as of August 18, 2020.

According to the data, 38,215 tests have returned positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. That represents an increase of 0.77 percent from the 37,923 cases previously reported.

Altogether, 591,338 coronavirus tests have been administered through August 18, the data shows. That marks an increase of 1.05 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 nearly 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 about 8.4 percent.

On the other end of the spectrum, aggressive efforts in the Alaska Area are turning up very few cases. Out of 118,796 tests administered in Alaska, only 0.73 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 23.1 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 35.6 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 18, 2020.

IHS Area Tested Positive Negative
Alaska 118,796 864 100,537
Albuquerque 36,642 1,672 25,413
Bemidji 36,059 977 32,915
Billings 47,730 1,251 42,702
California 8,853 598 7,517
Great Plains 47,152 2,033 44,244
Nashville 22,041 1,841 19,590
Navajo 74,926 10,995 56,648
Oklahoma City 115,877 6,943 106,232
Phoenix 52,704 8,585 43,671
Portland 24,651 1,898 22,026
Tucson 5,907 558 5,240
TOTAL 591,338 38,215 506,735

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

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