Indianz.Com > COVID-19 > Indian Health Service (Department of Health and Human Services)
Posted: October 12, 2020

COVID-19 Indian Country IHSThe Indian Health Service has updated its coronavirus data, showing results as of October 10, 2020.

According to the data, 57,225 tests have returned positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. That represents an increase of 0.54 percent from the 56,915 cases previously reported by the IHS.

Altogether, 964,280 coronavirus tests have been administered within the IHS through October 10, the data shows. That marks an increase of 0.63 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 13.3 percent are positive.

Next is the Navajo Area, which serves the largest reservation in the United States. But even with 11.7 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 260,672 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, 37.6 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 58 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 10, 2020.

IHS Area Tested Positive Negative
Alaska 260,672 3,099 234,376
Albuquerque 46,232 2,030 33,893
Bemidji 59,511 2,251 54,715
Billings 64,554 3,400 56,710
California 20,944 1,342 19,187
Great Plains 77,431 4,180 72,327
Nashville 30,334 2,201  27,129
Navajo 102,255 11,982 77,719
Oklahoma City 185,854 13,630 167,613
Phoenix 73,633 9,812 62,973
Portland 35,122 2,672 31,589
Tucson 7,738 626 7,004
TOTAL 964,280 57,225 845,235

Source: (Indian Health Service)

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