Indianz.Com > COVID-19 > Indian Health Service (Department of Health and Human Services)
Posted: September 6, 2020

The Indian Health Service has updated its coronavirus data, showing results as of September 4, 2020.

According to the data, 42,773 tests have returned positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. That represents an increase of 0.34 percent from the 42,627 cases previously reported.

Altogether, 687,840 coronavirus tests have been administered through September 4, the data shows. That marks an increase of 0.53 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, 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 13.9 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 151,584 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, 26.8 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 41.4 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 4, 2020.

IHS Area Tested Positive Negative
Alaska 151,584  1,250  130,009
Albuquerque 39,149  1,730  27,868
Bemidji 43,090  1,185  39,660
Billings 51,956  1,677  46,717
California 10,317  664  8,869
Great Plains 55,032  2,437  51,834
Nashville 24,546  1,919  21,921
Navajo 81,115  11,296  62,076
Oklahoma City 136,197  8,728  124,800
Phoenix 59,949  8,990  50,232
Portland 28,409  2,319  25,345
Tucson 6,496  578  5,809
TOTAL 687,840  42,773  595,140

Source: (Indian Health Service)

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