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Posted: February 24, 2021

COVID-19 Indian Country IHS

The Indian Health Service has updated its coronavirus data, showing results as of February 22, 2021.

According to the data, 185,223 tests have returned positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. That represents an increase of 0.1 percent from the 184,964 cases previously reported by the IHS.

Altogether, 2,047,023 coronavirus tests have been administered within the IHS through February 22, the data shows. That marks an increase of about 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 4.5 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 February 22, 2021.

IHS Area
positive *
7-day rolling
positivity *
Alaska 511,475 11,086 432,679 2.5% 0.8%
Albuquerque 87,276 7,939 59,285 11.8% 6.0%
Bemidji 137,881 9,985 124,386 7.4% 2.5%
Billings 93,469 7,275 82,945 8.1% 6.5%
California 68,417 7,210 57,626 11.1% 12.4%
Great Plains 131,410 13,715 117,184 10.5% 7.1%
Nashville 67,509 5,785 60,761 8.7% 7.7%
Navajo 224,382 30,703 152,037 16.8% 8.4%
Oklahoma City 440,207 58,709 376,770 13.5% 13.3%
Phoenix 160,975 22,992 136,995 14.4% 5.9%
Portland 100,035 7,135 92,105 7.2% 3.0%
Tucson 23,987 2,689 21,145 11.3% 9.0%
TOTAL 2,047,023 185,223 1,713,918 9.8% 4.5%

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

Source: Indian Health Service (

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