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Posted: January 14, 2021

COVID-19 Indian Country IHS

The Indian Health Service has updated its coronavirus data, showing results as of January 12, 2021.

According to the data, 162,719 tests have returned positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. That represents an increase of 0.9 percent from the 161,231 cases previously reported by the IHS.

Altogether, 1,786,367 coronavirus tests have been administered within the IHS through January 12, 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 (16.7 percent), the Phoenix Area (14.4 percent) and the Oklahoma City Area (13.2 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, four regions have seen dramatic increases in COVID-19 cases. They are: the Oklahoma City Area (22.2 percent), the Phoenix Area (21.7 percent), the Navajo Area (19.3 percent) and the California Area (18.3 percent). Two of the four regions include the state of Arizona.

Overall, 9.8 percent of IHS tests have been positive since the onset of the pandemic, the data shows. Meanwhile, the 7-day average has leveled off after increasing steadily during the holiday season. It now stands at 15.5 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 12, 2021.

IHS Area
positive *
7-day rolling
positivity *
Alaska 440,826 9,865 368,487 2.6% 3.2%
Albuquerque 80,492 7,181 54,666 11.6% 10.8%
Bemidji 119,963 9,010 107,751 7.7% 8.6%
Billings 86,303 7,000 75,790 8.5% 10.3%
California 56,393 5,446 47,731 10.2% 18.3%
Great Plains 124,111 13,264 110,288 10.7% 14.0%
Nashville 57,172 4,709 51,278 8.4% 14.3%
Navajo 204,468 27,805 138,941 16.7% 19.3%
Oklahoma City 381,032 49,490 325,743 13.2% 22.2%
Phoenix 143,977 20,643 122,294 14.4% 21.7%
Portland 71,197 6,049 64,349 8.6% 7.9%
Tucson 20,433 2,257 18,023 11.1% 17.8%
TOTAL 1,786,367 162,719 1,485,341 9.9% 15.5%

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

Source: Indian Health Service (

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