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Posted: January 6, 2021

COVID-19 Indian Country IHS

The Indian Health Service has updated its coronavirus data, showing results as of January 4, 2021.

According to the data, 151,610 tests have returned positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. That represents an increase of nearly 2.6 percent from the 147,807 cases previously reported by the IHS.

Altogether, 1,715,985 coronavirus tests have been administered within the IHS through January 4, the data shows. That marks an increase of about 1.7 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 (12.7 percent), the Albuquerque Area (11.2 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 (23.5 percent), the Navajo Area (21.8 percent) and the Phoenix Area (20.6 percent). Two of the three regions include the state of Arizona.

Overall, 9.6 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 16.1 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 4, 2021.

IHS Area
positive *
7-day rolling
positivity *
Alaska 426,513 9,445 357,193 2.6% 4.2%
Albuquerque 82,664 7,212 57,425 11.2% 16.3%
Bemidji 116,295 8,708 104,640 7.7% 10.2%
Billings 85,160 6,891 74,824 8.4% 12.8%
California 54,400 4,651 47,152 9.0% 13.5%
Great Plains 120,786 12,850 107,405 10.7% 17.0%
Nashville 54,058 4,276 48,895 8.0% 11.2%
Navajo 194,877 26,044 133,775 16.3% 21.8%
Oklahoma City 358,633 44,805 308,430 12.7% 23.5%
Phoenix 136,279 19,106 116,213 14.1% 20.6%
Portland 66,261 5,524 59,917 8.4% 10.5%
Tucson 20,059 2,098 17,716 10.6% 16.7%
TOTAL 1,715,985 151,610 1,433,585 9.6% 16.1%

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

Source: Indian Health Service (

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