The Indian Health Service has updated its coronavirus data, showing results as of July 24, 2020.

According to the data, 29,697 tests have returned positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. That represents an increase of 0.9 percent from the 29,420 cases previously reported.

Altogether, 447,439 coronavirus tests have been administered through July 24, the data shows. That marks an increase of 1.1 percent from the day prior.

The low growth in positive cases and tests are typical for lulls in data seen during weekends. But results from July 21, July 22, July 23 and July 24 have indicated a slowdown in coronavirus activity within the IHS.

Overall, 6.6 percent of IHS coronavirus tests have returned positive, according to the data. But the rate is far higher in the Phoenix Area, where 16.7 percent are positive.

Closely following is Navajo Area, which serves the largest reservation in the United States.  But even with about 16.4 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 about 9.6 percent.

On the other end of the spectrum, aggressive efforts in the Alaska Area are turning up very few cases. Out of 85,689 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 303 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, about 17.5 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, 26.9 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 24, 2020.

IHS Area Tested Positive Negative
Alaska 85,689 407 71,551
Albuquerque 31,300 1,480 20,618
Bemidji 24,536 612 21,989
Billings 36,159 671 28,508
California 6,539 369 5,098
Great Plains 33,173 1,390 30,966
Nashville 14,452 1,438 11,884
Navajo 62,604 10,283 46,432
Oklahoma City 85,992 3,758 78,379
Phoenix 44,901 7,513 39,953
Portland 17,208 1,325 15,034
Tucson 4,956 451 4,393
TOTAL 447,439 29,697 374,805

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

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