Indianz.Com > COVID-19 > Indian Health Service (Department of Health and Human Services)
Posted: September 2, 2020

The Indian Health Service has updated its coronavirus data, showing results as of August 31, 2020.

According to the data, 41,733 tests have returned positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. That represents an increase of 1 percent from the 41,320 cases previously reported.

Altogether, 662,753 coronavirus tests have been administered through August 31, the data shows. That marks an increase of 1.3 percent percent from the day prior.

Overall, 6.3 percent of IHS coronavirus tests have returned positive, according to the data. But the rate is far higher in the Phoenix Area, where about 15.2 percent are positive.

Next is the Navajo Area, which serves the largest reservation in the United States. But even with about 14.2 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 Tucson Area, which covers southern Arizona, shows a high positive rate of nearly 9.2 percent. It has overtaken the Nashville Area as the region with the third highest rate within the IHS system.

On the other end of the spectrum, aggressive efforts in the Alaska Area are turning up very few cases. Out of 140,886 tests administered in Alaska, only 0.82 percent have returned positive, the data shows.

The Alaska Area also far 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, nearly 25.9 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, nearly 39.9 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 31, 2020.

IHS Area Tested Positive Negative
Alaska 140,886 1,157 120,481
Albuquerque 38,501 1,708 27,188
Bemidji 41,841 1,153 38,475
Billings 51,094 1,600 46,099
California 9,970 645 8,548
Great Plains 54,080 2,410 51,291
Nashville 23,913 1,905 21,490
Navajo 79,377 11,228 60,620
Oklahoma City 130,711 8,270 119,415
Phoenix 58,542 8,916 49,033
Portland 27,573 2,166 24,575
Tucson 6,265 575 5,579
TOTAL 662,753 41,733 572,794

Source: (Indian Health Service)

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