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Posted: January 21, 2021

COVID-19 Indian Country IHS

The Indian Health Service has updated its coronavirus data, showing results as of January 19, 2021.

According to the data, 169,285 tests have returned positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. That represents an increase of nearly 0.6 percent from the 168,292 cases previously reported by the IHS.

Altogether, 1,842,885 coronavirus tests have been administered within the IHS through January 19, 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 19, 2021.

IHS Area
positive *
7-day rolling
positivity *
Alaska 452,143 10,168 378,982 2.6% 2.9%
Albuquerque 81,764 7,392 55,626 11.7% 14.8%
Bemidji 123,002 9,227 110,779 7.7% 6.2%
Billings 87,243 7,091 76,637 8.5% 6.8%
California 60,135 6,181 50,517 10.9% 15.9%
Great Plains 125,565 13,391 111,531 10.7% 8.0%
Nashville 59,169 4,964 53,182 8.5% 12.6%
Navajo 209,426 28,693 141,963 16.8% 17.5%
Oklahoma City 394,599 52,115 337,475 13.4% 19.4%
Phoenix 147,840 21,410 125,382 14.6% 20.2%
Portland 80,658 6,243 73,730 7.8% 3.9%
Tucson 21,341 2,410 18,778 11.4% 23.4%
TOTAL 1,842,885 169,285 1,534,582 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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