Indianz.Com > COVID-19 > Indian Health Service (Department of Health and Human Services)
Posted: August 27, 2020

The Indian Health Service has updated its coronavirus data, showing results as of August 25, 2020.

According to the data, 40,046 tests have  returned positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. That represents an increase of 0.78 percent from the 39,735 cases previously reported.

Altogether, 629,122 coronavirus tests have been administered through August 25, the data shows. That marks an increase of 1.09 percent percent from the day prior.

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 15.6 percent are positive.

Next is the Navajo Area, which serves the largest reservation in the United States. But even with about 14.3 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 8.1 percent.

On the other end of the spectrum, aggressive efforts in the Alaska Area are turning up very few cases. Out of 130,291 tests administered in Alaska, only 0.79 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 24.6 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, 37.4 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 25, 2020.

IHS Area Tested Positive Negative
Alaska 130,291 1,027 110,818
Albuquerque 37,684 1,702 26,518
Bemidji 38,486 1,070 35,074
Billings 49,427 1,398 44,718
California 9,338 625 7,993
Great Plains 51,189 2,233 48,487
Nashville 23,048 1,876 20,630
Navajo 77,252 11,087 58,693
Oklahoma City 123,672 7,614 113,055
Phoenix 56,176 8,782 46,819
Portland 26,448 2,064 23,601
Tucson 6,111 568 5,434
TOTAL 629,122 40,046 541,840

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

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