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Posted: February 18, 2021

COVID-19 Indian Country IHS

The Indian Health Service has updated its coronavirus data, showing results as of February 16, 2021.

According to the data, 184,145 tests have returned positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. That represents an increase of nearly 0.2 percent from the 183,791 cases previously reported by the IHS.

Altogether, 2,022,174 coronavirus tests have been administered within the IHS through February 16, the data shows. That marks an increase of 0.3 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, three areas continue to see higher COVID-19 rates. They follow:

Overall, 9.8 percent of IHS tests have been positive since the onset of the pandemic, the data shows. Meanwhile, the 7-day average has declined significantly after increasing during the holiday season. It now stands at 5.4 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 February 16, 2021.

IHS Area
positive *
7-day rolling
positivity *
Alaska 502,793 11,013 425,113 2.5% 1.1%
Albuquerque 86,785 7,910 58,904 11.8% 3.2%
Bemidji 135,088 9,899 121,760 7.5% 5.6%
Billings 92,854 7,232 82,354 8.1% 1.7%
California 67,399 7,123 56,728 11.2% 8.6%
Great Plains 130,706 13,671 116,493 10.5% 2.4%
Nashville 66,290 5,686 59,624 8.7% 10.0%
Navajo 222,761 30,569 150,728 16.9% 7.9%
Oklahoma City 438,077 58,467 374,866 13.5% 12.2%
Phoenix 159,026 22,879 135,165 14.5% 9.3%
Portland 96,685 7,031 89,106 7.3% 4.0%
Tucson 23,710 2,665 20,892 11.3% 6.4%
TOTAL 2,022,174 184,145 1,691,733 9.8% 5.4%

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

Source: Indian Health Service (
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