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Posted: March 3, 2021

COVID-19 Indian Country IHS

The Indian Health Service has updated its coronavirus data, showing results as of March 1, 2021.

According to the data, 186,660 tests have returned positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. That represents an increase of less than 1 percent from the 186,506 cases previously reported by the IHS.

Altogether, 2,079,488 coronavirus tests have been administered within the IHS through March 1, the data shows. That marks an increase of about nearly 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, 9.7 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 March 1, 2021.

IHS Area
positive *
7-day rolling
positivity *
Alaska 522,195 11,176 442,385 2.5% 0.8%
Albuquerque 88,762 7,990 60,032 11.7% 3.4%
Bemidji 140,391 10,049 126,835 7.3% 2.5%
Billings 93,990 7,292 83,433 8.0% 3.3%
California 70,452 7,422 59,409 11.1% 10.1%
Great Plains 132,711 13,799 118,403 10.4% 6.5%
Nashville 69,065 5,874 62,255 8.6% 5.7%
Navajo 226,711 30,887 153,886 16.7% 7.9%
Oklahoma City 445,588 59,144 381,646 13.4% 8.1%
Phoenix 163,052 23,125 139,032 14.3% 6.4%
Portland 102,269 7,201 94,284 7.1% 2.5%
Tucson 24,302 2,701 21,448 11.2% 3.8%
TOTAL 2,079,488 186,660 1,743,048 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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