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Posted: January 22, 2021

COVID-19 Indian Country IHS

The Indian Health Service has updated its coronavirus data, showing results as of January 20, 2021.

According to the data, 170,279 tests have returned positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. That represents an increase of almost 0.6 percent from the 169,285 cases previously reported by the IHS.

Altogether, 1,856,344 coronavirus tests have been administered within the IHS through January 20, the data shows. That marks an increase of 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 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, four areas have seen dramatic growth in COVID-19. They follow:

Two 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 11.5 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 20, 2021.

IHS Area
positive *
7-day rolling
positivity *
Alaska 456,225 10,235 382,745 2.6% 2.5%
Albuquerque 82,031 7,421 55,743 11.7% 15.9%
Bemidji 123,375 9,259 111,102 7.7% 6.8%
Billings 87,542 6,968 ** 76,959 8.3% 6.4%
California 60,779 6,243 51,310 10.8% 19.0%
Great Plains 125,724 13,398 111,762 10.7% 7.7%
Nashville 59,622 5,017 53,412 8.6% 13.1%
Navajo 209,639 28,724 142,092 16.8% 17.4%
Oklahoma City 399,474 52,741 341,096 13.4% 17.6%
Phoenix 148,605 21,531 125,985 14.6% 17.8%
Portland 81,845 6,312 75,172 7.7% 7.1%
Tucson 21,483 2,430 18,900 11.4% 14.9%
TOTAL 1,856,344 170,279 1,546,278 9.9% 11.5%

** Billings Area positive tests decreased due to data reconciliation.

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

Source: Indian Health Service (

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