The Indian Health Service has updated its coronavirus data, showing results as of July 22, 2020.

According to the data, 28,987 tests have returned positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. That represents an increase of 1.2 percent from the 28,638 cases previously reported.

Altogether, 435,535 coronavirus tests have been administered through July 22, the data shows. That marks an increase of 1.8 percent from the day prior.

The relatively low growth in positive cases and tests is unusual for a day-to-day comparison during the week. Typically, the rates only drop during weekends, so forthcoming data might reveal a trend.

Overall, nearly 6.7 percent of IHS coronavirus tests have returned positive, according to the data. But the rate is far higher in the Phoenix Area, where about 17 percent are positive.

Closely following is Navajo Area, which serves the largest reservation in the United States.  But even with about 16.5 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 10.1 percent.

On the other end of the spectrum, aggressive efforts in the Alaska Area are turning up very few cases. Out of 83,143 tests administered in Alaska, only 0.47 percent have returned positive, the data shows.

The Alaska Area also outnumbers nearly every other area — including Navajo —  in terms of tests administered. The Oklahoma City Area retains the top spot, but only by 299 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, 17 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 26.2 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 22, 2020.

IHS Area Tested Positive Negative
Alaska 83,143 390 70,306
Albuquerque 29,560 1,458 19,949
Bemidji 23,809 591 21,293
Billings 35,817 637 27,535
California 6,336 357 4,914
Great Plains 33,173 1,390 30,966
Nashville 14,076 1,424 11,570
Navajo 61,314 10,105 45,513
Oklahoma City 83,442 3,545 76,208
Phoenix 43,158 7,359 37,529
Portland 16,817 1,286 14,674
Tucson 4,890 445 4,335
TOTAL 435,535 28,987 364,792

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

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