Indianz.Com > COVID-19 > Indian Health Service (Department of Health and Human Services)
Posted: August 24, 2020

The Indian Health Service has updated its coronavirus data, showing results as of August 22, 2020.

According to the data, 39,051 tests have returned positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. That represents an increase of 0.18 percent from the 38,982 cases previously reported.

Altogether, 613,175 coronavirus tests have been administered through August 22, the data shows. That marks an increase of 0.33 percent percent from the day prior.

The low growth rates in COVID-19 cases and tests are indicative of a lull in data seen during weekends. However, since July 21 there has been a slowdown of coronavirus activity reported by the IHS.

Overall, almost 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 15.8 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 almost 8.3 percent.

On the other end of the spectrum, aggressive efforts in the Alaska Area are turning up very few cases. Out of 126,292 tests administered in Alaska, only 0.76 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, 23.9 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 36.9 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 22, 2020.

IHS Area Tested Positive Negative
Alaska 126,292 959 107,858
Albuquerque 37,315 1,685 26,040
Bemidji 37,319 1,022 33,948
Billings 48,862 1,311 44,250
California 9,112 610 7,789
Great Plains 49,386 2,097 46,898
Nashville 22,510 1,866 20,487
Navajo 76,460 11,062 57,971
Oklahoma City 120,029 7,271 109,704
Phoenix 54,843 8,675 45,515
Portland 25,031 1,925 22,365
Tucson 6,016 568 5,339
TOTAL 613,175 39,051 528,164

Source: (Indian Health Service)

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