Indianz.Com > COVID-19 > Indian Health Service (Department of Health and Human Services)
Posted: October 8, 2020

COVID-19 Indian Country IHSThe Indian Health Service has updated its coronavirus data, showing results as of October 6, 2020.

According to the data, 54,740 tests have returned positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. That represents an increase of about 2.2 percent from the 53,565 cases previously reported by the IHS.

Altogether, 921,894 coronavirus tests have been administered through October 5, the data shows. That marks an increase of 2.6 percent from the day prior.

Overall, 5.9 percent of IHS coronavirus tests have returned positive, according to the data. But the rate is far higher in the Phoenix Area, where 13.6 percent are positive.

Next is the Navajo Area, which serves the largest reservation in the United States. But even with 11.9 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 almost 8.1 percent. The high rates in these three 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 241,288 tests administered in Alaska, 1.1 percent have returned positive, the data shows.

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, about 36 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, 55.4 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 October 6, 2020.

IHS Area Tested Positive Negative
Alaska 241,288 2,722 216,565
Albuquerque 45,336 1,976 33,310
Bemidji 56,992 2,109 52,819
Billings 60,874 2,871 53,762
California 20,214 1,290 18,555
Great Plains 74,909 3,803 69,633
Nashville 29,722 2,134  26,221
Navajo 99,314 11,872 75,930
Oklahoma City 179,793 13,017 162,558
Phoenix 71,423 9,715 60,757
Portland 34,465 2,620  30,995
Tucson 7,564 611  6,845
TOTAL 921,894 54,740 807,950

Source: (Indian Health Service)

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