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Posted: February 20, 2021

COVID-19 Indian Country IHS

The Indian Health Service has updated its coronavirus data, showing results as of February 18, 2021.

According to the data, 184,585 tests have returned positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. That represents an increase of nearly 0.2 percent from the 184,283 cases previously reported by the IHS.

Altogether, 2,032,694 coronavirus tests have been administered within the IHS through February 18, the data shows. That marks an increase of about 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 5.8 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 18, 2021.

IHS Area
positive *
7-day rolling
positivity *
Alaska 506,155 11,042 427,551 2.5% 1.0%
Albuquerque 87,027 7,919 59,108 11.8% 6.6%
Bemidji 136,841 9,957 123,370 7.5% 4.2%
Billings 93,079 7,247 82,497 8.1% 5.8%
California 68,029 7,156 57,188 11.1% 12.2%
Great Plains 131,199 13,706 116,944 10.5% 5.9%
Nashville 66,810 5,726 60,099 8.7% 6.8%
Navajo 223,410 30,635 151,153 16.9% 9.3%
Oklahoma City 438,709 58,515 375,420 13.5% 13.3%
Phoenix 159,949 22,935 136,021 14.4% 6.6%
Portland 97,705 7,071 90,087 7.3% 4.6%
Tucson 23,781 2,676 20,952 11.3% 10.8%
TOTAL 2,032,694 184,585 1,700,390 9.8% 5.8%

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

Source: Indian Health Service (

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