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Posted: January 7, 2021

COVID-19 Indian Country IHS

The Indian Health Service has updated its coronavirus data, showing results as of January 5, 2021.

According to the data, 153,335 tests have returned positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. That represents an increase of 1.1 percent from the 151,610 cases previously reported by the IHS.

Altogether, 1,727,732 coronavirus tests have been administered within the IHS through January 5, 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 (16.4 percent), the Phoenix Area (14.2 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 5, 2021.

IHS Area
positive *
7-day rolling
positivity *
Alaska     428,645          9,506        358,605 2.6% 4.2%
Albuquerque       82,945          7,232          57,573 11.2% 16.3%
Bemidji     116,952          8,778        105,191 7.7% 10.2%
Billings       85,606          6,939          75,057 8.5% 12.8%
California       55,148          4,847          47,527 9.3% 13.5%
Great Plains     121,124        12,883        107,704 10.7% 17.0%
Nashville       54,690          4,356          49,351 8.1% 11.2%
Navajo     196,659        26,380        134,468 16.4% 21.8%
Oklahoma City     361,112        45,288        310,285 12.7% 23.5%
Phoenix     137,609        19,383        117,222 14.2% 20.6%
Portland       66,887          5,589          60,427 8.5% 10.5%
Tucson       20,355          2,154          17,956 10.7% 16.7%
TOTAL 1,727,732      153,335      1,441,366 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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