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Posted: January 20, 2021

COVID-19 Indian Country IHS

The Indian Health Service has updated its coronavirus data, showing results as of January 18, 2021.

According to the data, 168,292 tests have returned positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. That represents an increase of 0.6 percent from the 167,262 cases previously reported by the IHS.

Altogether, 1,834,712 coronavirus tests have been administered within the IHS through January 18, the data shows. That marks an increase of 0.4 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 three areas. Two of them 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 areas have seen dramatic growth in COVID-19. They follow:

Three of the 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 12.1 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 18, 2021.

IHS Area
positive *
7-day rolling
positivity *
Alaska 450,656 10,122 377,817 2.6% 2.9%
Albuquerque 81,391 7,336 55,394 11.7% 14.8%
Bemidji 122,437 9,188 110,284 7.7% 6.2%
Billings 86,509 7,053 75,937 8.5% 6.8%
California 58,902 5,927 49,554 10.7% 15.9%
Great Plains 124,991 13,334 111,005 10.7% 8.0%
Nashville 58,877 4,931 52,989 8.5% 12.6%
Navajo 209,016 28,603 141,663 16.8% 17.5%
Oklahoma City 393,728 51,960 336,776 13.4% 19.4%
Phoenix 147,283 21,287 124,992 14.6% 20.2%
Portland 79,775 6,172 72,826 7.8% 3.9%
Tucson 21,147 2,379 18,615 11.3% 23.4%
TOTAL 1,834,712 168,292 1,527,852 9.9% 12.1%

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

Source: Indian Health Service (

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