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Posted: February 19, 2021

COVID-19 Indian Country IHS

The Indian Health Service has updated its coronavirus data, showing results as of February 17, 2021.

According to the data, 184,283 tests have returned positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. That represents an increase of less than 1 percent from the 184,145 cases previously reported by the IHS.

Altogether, 2,027,342 coronavirus tests have been administered within the IHS through February 17, the data shows. That marks an increase of 0.2 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 5.8 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 17, 2021.

IHS Area
positive *
7-day rolling
positivity *
Alaska 504,799 11,024 426,610 2.5% 1.0%
Albuquerque 86,846 7,912 58,960 11.8% 6.6%
Bemidji 135,817 9,929 122,451 7.5% 4.2%
Billings 92,938 7,236 82,399 8.1% 5.8%
California 67,722 7,134 57,028 11.1% 12.2%
Great Plains 130,706 13,671 116,493 10.5% 5.9%
Nashville 66,653 5,706 59,875 8.7% 6.8%
Navajo 222,909 30,582 150,790 16.9% 9.3%
Oklahoma City 438,315 58,461 ** 375,095 13.5% 13.3%
Phoenix 159,683 22,914 135,765 14.4% 6.6%
Portland 97,219 7,047 89,630 7.3% 4.6%
Tucson 23,735 2,667 20,915 11.3% 10.8%
TOTAL 2,027,342 184,283 1,696,011 9.8% 5.8%

** Oklahoma City 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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