Indianz.Com > COVID-19 > Indian Health Service (Department of Health and Human Services)
Posted: August 22, 2020

The Indian Health Service has updated its coronavirus data, showing results as of August 20, 2020.

According to the data, 38,843 tests have returned positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. That represents an increase of 0.86 percent from the 38,512 cases previously reported.

Altogether, 607,386 coronavirus tests have been administered through August 20, the data shows. That marks an increase of almost 1.4 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 percent are positive.

Next is the Navajo Area, which serves the largest reservation in the United States. But even with about 14.5 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 124,096 tests administered in Alaska, only 0.75 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, 23.7 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, 36.5 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 20, 2020.

IHS Area Tested Positive Negative
Alaska 124,096 931 105,379
Albuquerque 37,236 1,683 25,636
Bemidji 37,106 1,011 33,678
Billings 48,670 1,297 44,077
California 9,024 603 7,719
Great Plains 49,008 2,080 46,442
Nashville 22,365 1,856 19,879
Navajo 75,811 11,029 57,424
Oklahoma City 119,078 7,209 108,904
Phoenix 54,044 8,654 44,585
Portland 24,989 1,925 22,347
Tucson 5,959 565 5,285
TOTAL 607,386 38,843 521,355

Source: (Indian Health Service)

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