Indianz.Com > COVID-19 > Indian Health Service (Department of Health and Human Services)
Posted: September 11, 2020

The Indian Health Service has updated its coronavirus data, showing results as of September 9, 2020.

According to the data, 43,888 tests have returned positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. That represents an increase of 0.71 percent from the 43,578 cases previously reported by the IHS.

Altogether, 710,844 coronavirus tests have been administered through September 9, the data shows. That marks an increase of 1.2 percent from the day prior.

Overall, almost 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 14.7 percent are positive.

Next is the Navajo Area, which serves the largest reservation in the United States. But even with almost 13.8 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 nearly 8.8 percent. It recently overtook the Nashville Area as the region with the third highest rate within the IHS system. The Portland Area,  though, also has a comparably high rate of about 8.1 percent.

Still, 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 159,448 tests administered in Alaska, only 0.86 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, 27.7 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, about 42.7 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 9, 2020.

IHS Area Tested Positive Negative
Alaska 159,448 1,372 138,312
Albuquerque 39,479 1,737 28,272
Bemidji 44,768 1,243 41,327
Billings 52,578 1,771 47,255
California 10,603 670 9,200
Great Plains 57,515 2,561 54,182
Nashville 25,208 1,932 22,538
Navajo 82,550 11,359 63,260
Oklahoma City 141,275 9,226 129,426
Phoenix 61,804 9,096 51,859
Portland 28,968 2,337 25,884
Tucson 6,648 584 5,956
TOTAL 710,844 43,888 617,471

Source: (Indian Health Service)

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