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Posted: March 10, 2021

COVID-19 Indian Country IHS

The Indian Health Service has updated its coronavirus data, showing results through March 8, 2021.

According to the data, 187,596 tests have returned positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. That represents an increase of less than 1 percent from the 187,411 cases previously reported by the IHS.

Altogether, 2,109,399 coronavirus tests have been administered within the IHS through March 8, the data shows. That marks an increase of 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 3.1 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 8, 2021.

IHS Area
positive *
7-day rolling
positivity *
Alaska 531,482 11,243 450,594 2.4% 0.7%
Albuquerque 89,554 8,028 61,375 11.6% 4.8%
Bemidji 143,375 10,148 129,698 7.3% 3.3%
Billings 94,491 7,302 83,933 8.0% 2.0%
California 71,523 7,525 60,434 11.1% 10.9%
Great Plains 133,653 13,849 119,296 10.4% 5.7%
Nashville 70,263 5,931 63,367 8.6% 4.8%
Navajo 229,112 31,007 155,763 16.6% 5.0%
Oklahoma City 452,317 59,471 387,882 13.3% 4.9%
Phoenix 164,660 23,129 140,665 14.1% 3.7%
Portland 104,246 7,249 96,237 7.0% 2.5%
Tucson 24,723 2,714 21,856 11.0% 3.1%
TOTAL 2,109,399 187,596 1,771,100 9.6% 3.1%

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

Source: Indian Health Service (
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