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Posted: January 5, 2021

COVID-19 Indian Country IHS

The Indian Health Service has updated its coronavirus data, showing results as of January 3, 2021.

According to the data, 147,807 tests have returned positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. That represents an increase of nearly 0.8 percent from the 148,969 cases previously reported by the IHS.

Altogether, 1,687,568 coronavirus tests have been administered within the IHS through January 3, the data shows. That marks an increase of about 0.7 percent from the day prior.

Since mid-October of 2020, the IHS has been providing additional information about the spread of the coronavirus within the system. The cumulative percent positive column shows the historical COVID-19 infection rate, meaning the number of tests that have returned positive since the onset of the pandemic.

Based on the cumulative percent positive, the highest rates have been seen in the Navajo Area (16.3 percent), the Phoenix Area (14.1 percent), the Oklahoma City Area (12.5 percent), the Albuquerque Area (11.1 percent) and the Great Plains Area (10.7 percent). The first two regions include the state of Arizona, indicating a disproportionate toll of COVID-19 in the state.

The 7-day rolling average positivity column offers a more contemporary look at the impact of the coronavirus. The data shows where COVID-19 cases have been increasing recently.

Based on the 7-day rolling average positivity, three regions have seen dramatic increases in COVID-19 cases. They are: the Oklahoma City Area (23.4 percent), the Navajo Area (21.8 percent) and the Phoenix Area (21.6 percent). Two of the three regions include the state of Arizona.

Overall, 9.5 percent of IHS tests have been positive since the onset of the pandemic, the data shows. Meanwhile, the 7-day average has increased over the last several days. It now stands at 15.9 percent.

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.

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 January 3, 2021.

IHS Area
positive *
7-day rolling
positivity *
Alaska 423,432 9,137 353,913 2.5% 3.3%
Albuquerque 82,322 7,125 57,091 11.1% 7.1%
Bemidji 115,714 8,676 104,098 7.7% 9.7%
Billings 85,111 6,876 74,789 8.4% 14.2%
California 53,999 4,578 46,902 8.9% 11.9%
Great Plains 120,786 12,850 107,405 10.7% 18.4%
Nashville 51,394 4,053 46,576 8.0% 16.5%
Navajo 194,208 25,901 133,398 16.3% 21.8%
Oklahoma City 352,202 43,287 303,621 12.5% 23.4%
Phoenix 135,484 18,969 115,701 14.1% 21.6%
Portland 65,759 5,455 59,398 8.4% 9.4%
Tucson 19,904 2,062 17,597 10.5% 15.3%
TOTAL 1,700,315 148,969 1,420,489 9.5% 15.9%

* Cumulative percent positive and 7-day rolling average positivity are updated three days per week.

Source: Indian Health Service (

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