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Posted: March 6, 2021

COVID-19 Indian Country IHS

The Indian Health Service has updated its coronavirus data, showing results through March 4, 2021.

According to the data, 187,168 tests have returned positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. That represents an increase of less than 1 percent from the 187,073 cases previously reported by the IHS.

Altogether, 2,096,342 coronavirus tests have been administered within the IHS through March 4, 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, 9.6 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 3.7 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 March 4, 2021.

IHS Area
positive *
7-day rolling
positivity *
Alaska 527,353 11,211 446,760 2.4% 0.9%
Albuquerque 89,227 8,011 61,087 11.6% 3.5%
Bemidji 142,165 10,107 128,526 7.3% 2.5%
Billings 94,267 7,298 83,710 8.0% 1.8%
California 71,108 7,477 59,978 11.1% 10.6%
Great Plains 133,653 13,849 119,296 10.4% 6.8%
Nashville 69,690 5,906 62,843 8.6% 4.8%
Navajo 228,119 30,954 154,904 16.7% 5.3%
Oklahoma City 449,637 59,337 385,167 13.3% 5.7%
Phoenix ** 163,573 23,089 139,605 14.2% 5.4%
Portland 103,130 7,224 95,118 7.1% 2.4%
Tucson 24,420 2,705 21,562 11.2% 3.2%
TOTAL 2,096,342 187,168 1,758,556 9.6% 3.7%

** Phoenix Area Tested, Positive, and Negative Tests decreased due to data reconciliation.

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

Source: Indian Health Service (

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