Indianz.Com > COVID-19 > Indian Health Service (Department of Health and Human Services)
Posted: January 17, 2021

COVID-19 Indian Country IHS

The Indian Health Service has updated its coronavirus data, showing results as of January 15, 2021.

According to the data, 166,321 tests have returned positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. That represents an increase of 0.5 percent from the 165,439 cases previously reported by the IHS.

Altogether, 1,819,660 coronavirus tests have been administered within the IHS through January 15, the data shows. That marks an increase of nearly 1.9 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 (16.8 percent), the Phoenix Area (14.5 percent) and the Oklahoma City Area (13.3 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, five regions have seen dramatic increases in COVID-19 cases. They are:

Two of the five regions include the state of Arizona.

Overall, 9.9 percent of IHS tests have been positive since the onset of the pandemic, the data shows. Meanwhile, the 7-day average has somewhat 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 15, 2021.

IHS Area
positive *
7-day rolling
positivity *
Alaska 445,990 9,987 372,755 2.6% 3.2%
Albuquerque 81,043 7,246 55,048 11.6% 10.8%
Bemidji 121,986 9,142 109,848 7.7% 8.6%
Billings 86,509 7,053 75,937 8.5% 10.3%
California 58,075 5,743 48,777 10.5% 18.3%
Great Plains 124,612 13,315 110,727 10.7% 14.0%
Nashville 58,364 4,841 52,335 8.5% 14.3%
Navajo 206,894 28,285 140,368 16.8% 19.3%
Oklahoma City 389,205 51,056 332,572 13.3% 22.2%
Phoenix 146,400 21,132 124,283 14.5% 21.7%
Portland 79,716 6,168 72,771 7.8% 7.9%
Tucson 20,866 2,353 18,360 11.4% 17.8%
TOTAL 1,819,660 166,321 1,513,781 9.9% 15.5%

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

Source: Indian Health Service (

Join the Conversation