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Posted: February 25, 2021

COVID-19 Indian Country IHS

The Indian Health Service has updated its coronavirus data, showing results as of February 23, 2021.

According to the data, 185,680 tests have returned positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. That represents an increase of 0.2 percent from the 185,223 cases previously reported by the IHS.

Altogether, 2,054,762 coronavirus tests have been administered within the IHS through February 23, the data shows. That marks an increase of about 0.4 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, 9.7 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 23, 2021.

IHS Area
positive *
7-day rolling
positivity *
Alaska 513,276 11,096 433,927 2.5% 0.8%
Albuquerque 87,332 7,946 59,323 11.8% 6.0%
Bemidji 138,537 10,006 125,007 7.4% 2.5%
Billings 93,580 7,286 83,048 8.1% 6.5%
California 69,044 7,291 58,239 11.1% 12.4%
Great Plains 132,002 13,748 117,742 10.5% 7.1%
Nashville 67,681 5,798 60,909 8.7% 7.7%
Navajo 224,904 30,758 152,420 16.8% 8.4%
Oklahoma City 442,262 58,881 378,443 13.5% 13.3%
Phoenix 161,436 23,026 137,521 14.3% 5.9%
Portland 100,629 7,150 92,678 7.2% 3.0%
Tucson 24,079 2,694 21,232 11.3% 9.0%
TOTAL 2,054,762 185,680 1,720,489 9.7% 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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