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Posted: March 2, 2021

COVID-19 Indian Country IHS

The Indian Health Service has updated its coronavirus data, showing results as of February 28, 2021.

According to the data, 186,506 tests have returned positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. That represents an increase of 0.1 percent from the 186,313 cases previously reported by the IHS.

Altogether, 2,073,866 coronavirus tests have been administered within the IHS through February 28, 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, 9.7 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 4.6 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 28, 2021.

IHS Area
positive *
7-day rolling
positivity *
Alaska 520,693 11,164 440,940 2.5% 0.8%
Albuquerque 88,077 7,985 59,964 11.8% 6.0%
Bemidji 139,275 10,031 125,736 7.4% 2.6%
Billings 93,919 7,290 83,370 8.0% 5.6%
California 70,376 7,413 59,346 11.1% 10.1%
Great Plains 132,711 13,799 118,403 10.4% 5.6%
Nashville 68,481 5,847 61,739 8.7% 6.6%
Navajo 226,472 30,878 153,702 16.7% 8.0%
Oklahoma City 445,112 59,112 381,192 13.4% 8.8%
Phoenix 162,783 23,106 138,807 14.3% 6.1%
Portland 101,696 7,181 93,704 7.1% 3.0%
Tucson 24,271 2,700 21,418 11.2% 4.8%
TOTAL 2,073,866 186,506 1,738,321 9.7% 4.6%

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

Source: Indian Health Service (

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