Indianz.Com > COVID-19 > Indian Health Service (Department of Health and Human Services)
Posted: August 25, 2020

The Indian Health Service has updated its coronavirus data, showing results as of August 23, 2020.

According to the data, 39,274 tests have returned positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. That represents an increase of 0.57 percent from the 39,051 cases previously reported.

Altogether, 615,960 coronavirus tests have been administered through August 23, the data shows. That marks an increase of 0.45 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 126,749 tests administered in Alaska, only 0.77 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, 24 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, 37 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 23, 2020.

IHS Area Tested Positive Negative
Alaska 126,749 980 108,790
Albuquerque 37,356 1,686 26,072
Bemidji 37,550 1,033 34,206
Billings 49,048 1,345 44,389
California 9,112 610 7,789
Great Plains 50,173 2,167 47,656
Nashville 22,567 1,869 20,239
Navajo 76,601 11,067 58,190
Oklahoma City 120,747 7,333 110,453
Phoenix 54,942 8,679 45,601
Portland 25,088 1,937 22,451
Tucson 6,027 568 5,350
TOTAL 615,960 39,274 531,186

Source: (Indian Health Service)

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