The Indian Health Service has updated its coronavirus data, showing results as of July 29, 2020.

According to the data, 31,782 tests have returned positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. That represents an increase of 1.1 percent from the 31,431 cases previously reported.

Altogether, 475,114 coronavirus tests have been administered through July 29, the data shows. That marks an increase of only about 0.5 from the day prior.

The low growth rates in positive cases and tests have indicated a troubling trend. Since July 21, there has been a slowdown in coronavirus activity within the IHS.

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 17.8 percent are positive.

Next is the Navajo Area, which serves the largest reservation in the United States.  But even with nearly 16.1 percent of 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 9.6 percent.

On the other end of the spectrum, aggressive efforts in the Alaska Area are turning up very few cases. Out of 92,813 tests administered in Alaska, only 0.51 percent have returned positive, the data shows.

The Alaska Area also outnumbers almost every other area — including Navajo —  in terms of tests administered. The Oklahoma City Area has once again reclaimed the number one spot within the IHS but is only ahead by 540 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, 18.5 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, nearly 28.6 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 29, 2020.

IHS Area Tested Positive Negative
Alaska 92,813 470 77,088
Albuquerque 32,594 1,541 21,505
Bemidji 27,138 689 24,451
Billings 37,110 768 29,701
California 7,012 434 5,723
Great Plains 36,395 1,541 34,348
Nashville 15,645 1,507 13,030
Navajo 65,002 10,447 48,552
Oklahoma City 93,353 4,608 85,693
Phoenix 43,761 7,807 35,587
Portland 19,047 1,487 17,104
Tucson 5,244 483 4,652
TOTAL 475,114 31,782 397,434

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

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