Indianz.Com > COVID-19 > Indian Health Service (Department of Health and Human Services)
Posted: August 21, 2020

The Indian Health Service has updated its coronavirus data, showing results as of August 19, 2020.

According to the data, 38,512 tests have returned positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. That represents an increase of 0.78 from the 38,215 cases previously reported.

Altogether, 599,135 coronavirus tests have been administered through August 19, the data shows. That marks an increase of 1.3 percent percent from the day prior.

Overall, 6.4 percent of IHS coronavirus tests have returned positive, according to the data. But the rate is far higher in the Phoenix Area, where 16.2 percent are positive.

Next is the Navajo Area, which serves the largest reservation in the United States. But even with almost 14.6 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 8.3 percent.

On the other end of the spectrum, aggressive efforts in the Alaska Area are turning up very few cases. Out of 120,678 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 23.4 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, 36 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 19, 2020.

IHS Area Tested Positive Negative
Alaska 120,678 884 101,740
Albuquerque 36,776 1,679 25,549
Bemidji 36,520 990 33,141
Billings 48,414 1,261 43,447
California 8,953 600 7,567
Great Plains 48,706 2,063 45,701
Nashville 22,246 1,847 19,699
Navajo 75,555 11,009 56,958
Oklahoma City 117,570 7,106 107,693
Phoenix 53,099 8,606 43,805
Portland 24,681 1,902 22,072
Tucson 5,937 565 5,263
TOTAL 599,135 38,512 512,635

Source: (Indian Health Service)

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