Indianz.Com > COVID-19 > Indian Health Service (Department of Health and Human Services)
Posted: October 10, 2020

COVID-19 Indian Country IHSThe Indian Health Service has updated its coronavirus data, showing results as of October 8, 2020.

According to the data, 56,583 tests have returned positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. That represents an increase of nearly 2.3 percent from the 55,326 cases previously reported by the IHS.

Altogether, 950,042 coronavirus tests have been administered within the IHS through October 8, the data shows. That marks an increase of 1.8 percent from the day prior.

Overall, almost 6 percent of IHS coronavirus tests have returned positive, according to the data. But the rate is far higher in the Phoenix Area, where nearly 13.4 percent are positive.

Next is the Navajo Area, which serves the largest reservation in the United States. But even with 11.8 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 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 251,431 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, 37.1 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, 57.1 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 8, 2020.

IHS Area Tested Positive Negative
Alaska 251,431 2,915 226,353
Albuquerque 45,930 2,010 33,665
Bemidji 59,130 2,223 54,360
Billings 64,181 3,351 56,362
California 20,705 1,337 18,972
Great Plains 76,349 4,010 71,312
Nashville 30,190 2,173  26,962
Navajo 101,127 11,935 76,896
Oklahoma City 184,575 13,485 166,394
Phoenix 73,631 9,852 62,831
Portland 35,095 2,666 31,568
Tucson 7,698 626  6,948
TOTAL 950,042 56,583 832,623

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

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