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Posted: January 23, 2021

COVID-19 Indian Country IHS

The Indian Health Service has updated its coronavirus data, showing results as of January 21, 2021.

According to the data, 171,106 tests have returned positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. That represents an increase of nearly 0.5 percent from the 170,279 cases previously reported by the IHS.

Altogether, 1,865,042 coronavirus tests have been administered within the IHS through January 21, the data shows. That marks an increase of almost 0.5 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 21, 2021.

IHS Area
positive *
7-day rolling
positivity *
Alaska 457,701 10,243 383,839 2.6% 2.5%
Albuquerque 82,271 7,443 55,829 11.8% 15.9%
Bemidji 124,707 9,300 112,274 7.6% 6.8%
Billings 88,191 7,003 77,971 8.2% 6.4%
California 61,062 6,283 51,475 10.9% 19.0%
Great Plains 125,985 13,414 111,984 10.7% 7.7%
Nashville 60,018 5,070 53,766 8.6% 13.1%
Navajo 210,485 28,852 142,519 16.8% 17.4%
Oklahoma City 401,505 53,079 342,766 13.4% 17.6%
Phoenix 149,184 21,637 126,527 14.6% 17.8%
Portland 82,334 6,334 75,646 7.7% 7.1%
Tucson 21,599 2,448 18,998 11.4% 14.9%
TOTAL 1,865,042 171,106 1,553,594 9.9% 11.5%

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

Source: Indian Health Service (

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