The Indian Health Service has updated its coronavirus testing data, showing results as of July 15, 2020.
According to the data, 26,027 tests have returned positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. That represents an increase of 1.7 percent from the 25,591 cases previously reported.
Altogether, 384,817 coronavirus tests have been administered through July 15, the data shows. That represents an increase of nearly 2.4 percent from the day prior.
Overall, nearly 6.8 percent of IHS coronavirus tests have returned positive, according to the data. But the rate is far higher in the Phoenix Area, where about 18.2 percent are positive.
Closely following is Navajo Area, which serves the largest reservation in the United States. But even with 17 percent tests returning positive, the rate has held steady in the last several days following a slow but noticeable decline from the region with the highest rate.
The Nashville Area, which covers a wide area of Indian Country, including the South and Northeastern parts of the U.S., also continues to show a high positive rate of nearly 10.3 percent.
On the other end of the spectrum, aggressive efforts in the Alaska Area are turning up very few cases. Out of 72,479 tests administered in Alaska, only 0.42 percent have returned positive, the data shows.
The Alaska Area also outnumbers every other area — including Navajo — in terms of tests administered. It has overtaken the Oklahoma City Area though only by 207 tests.
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, 15 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, 23.1 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 July 15, 2020.
Source: https://www.ihs.gov/coronavirus/ (Indian Health Service)