Indianz.Com > COVID-19 > Indian Health Service (Department of Health and Human Services)
Posted: September 3, 2020

The Indian Health Service has updated its coronavirus data, showing results as of September 1, 2020.

According to the data, 42,085 tests have returned positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. That represents an increase of 0.84 percent from the 41,733 cases previously reported.

Altogether, 671,119 coronavirus tests have been administered through September 1, the data shows. That marks an increase of almost 1.3 percent percent from the day prior.

Overall, almost 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 nearly 15.2 percent are positive.

Next is the Navajo Area, which serves the largest reservation in the United States. But even with about 14.1 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 almost 9.1 percent. It has overtaken the Nashville Area as the region with the third highest rate within the IHS system.

The high rates in the Phoenix, Navajo and Tucson regions indicate a disproportionate toll of the coronavirus among IHS patients in the state of Arizona.

On the other end of the spectrum, aggressive efforts in the Alaska Area are turning up very few cases. Out of 144,700 tests administered in Alaska, only 0.81 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 remains in 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 26.2 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 40.4 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 September 1, 2020.

IHS Area Tested Positive Negative
Alaska 144,700 1,179 123,513
Albuquerque 38,636 1,712 27,295
Bemidji 42,090 1,158 38,659
Billings 51,662 1,632 46,615
California 10,100 654 8,660
Great Plains 55,032 2,437 51,834
Nashville 24,092 1,908 21,597
Navajo 79,861 11,245 60,933
Oklahoma City 131,813 8,366 120,809
Phoenix 58,794 8,929 49,124
Portland 27,982 2,290 24,946
Tucson 6,357 575 5,673
TOTAL 671,119 42,085 579,658

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

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