Indianz.Com > COVID-19 > Indian Health Service (Department of Health and Human Services)
Posted: September 5, 2020

The Indian Health Service has updated its coronavirus data, showing results as of September 3, 2020.

According to the data, 42,627 tests have returned positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. That represents an increase of 0.51 percent from the 42,411 cases previously reported.

Altogether, 684,202 coronavirus tests have been administered through September 3, the data shows. That marks an increase of 0.74 percent from the day prior.

Overall, 6.2 percent of IHS coronavirus tests have returned positive, according to the data. But the rate is far higher in the Phoenix Area, where 15 percent are positive.

Next is the Navajo Area, which serves the largest reservation in the United States. But even with almost 14 percent of tests returning positive, the rate has fallen steadily over the last couple of months, following a noticeable decline as the region with the highest rate.

The Tucson Area, which covers southern Arizona, shows a high positive rate of 8.9 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 149,983 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 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, 26.7 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 41.2 percent of Native Americans have been tested for the coronavirus since the IHS began reporting data in March.

OVID-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 3, 2020.

IHS Area Tested Positive Negative
Alaska 149,983  1,237  128,538
Albuquerque 39,112  1,729  27,795
Bemidji 42,920  1,178  39,467
Billings 51,949  1,677  46,714
California 10,287  664  8,828
Great Plains 55,032  2,437  51,834
Nashville 24,495  1,915  21,878
Navajo 80,746  11,289  61,773
Oklahoma City 135,095  8,629  123,720
Phoenix 59,745  8,980  50,036
Portland 28,388  2,316  25,328
Tucson 6,450  576  5,764
TOTAL 684,202  42,627  591,675

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

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