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Posted: February 23, 2021

COVID-19 Indian Country IHS

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

According to the data, 184,964 tests have returned positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. That represents an increase of less than 1 percent from the 184,817 cases previously reported by the IHS.

Altogether, 2,041,375 coronavirus tests have been administered within the IHS through February 21, the data shows. That marks an increase of about 0.1 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 4.7 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 21, 2021.

IHS Area
positive *
7-day rolling
positivity *
Alaska 509,900 11,077 431,315 2.5% 0.9%
Albuquerque 87,159 7,926 59,192 11.8% 5.7%
Bemidji 137,167 9,971 123,685 7.5% 2.7%
Billings 93,222 7,258 82,631 8.1% 7.0%
California 68,324 7,183 57,491 11.1% 12.0%
Great Plains 131,410 13,715 117,184 10.5% 7.3%
Nashville 67,268 5,766 60,574 8.7% 8.6%
Navajo 224,177 30,688 151,810 16.8% 8.2%
Oklahoma City 439,700 58,642 376,332 13.5% 13.9%
Phoenix 160,721 22,978 136,769 14.4% 5.8%
Portland 98,397 7,077 90,752 7.2% 3.8%
Tucson 23,930 2,683 21,094 11.3% 8.8%
TOTAL 2,041,375 184,964 1,708,829 9.8% 4.7%

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

Source: Indian Health Service (

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