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Posted: March 14, 2021

COVID-19 Indian Country IHS

The Indian Health Service has updated its coronavirus data, showing results through March 12, 2021.

According to the data, 188,331 tests have returned positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. That represents an increase of less than 1 percent from the 188,250 cases previously reported by the IHS.

Altogether, 2,130,043 coronavirus tests have been administered within the IHS through March 12, the data shows. That marks an increase of 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, 9.5 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 3.4 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 12, 2021.

IHS Area
positive *
7-day rolling
positivity *
Alaska 537,481 11,301 455,463 2.4% 0.9%
Albuquerque 89,824 8,032 61,624 11.5% 3.8%
Bemidji 144,522 10,205 130,789 7.2% 3.2%
Billings 94,889 7,310 84,317 8.0% 1.5%
California 73,152 7,648 61,864 11.0% 10.1%
Great Plains 134,882 13,934 120,419 10.4% 7.3%
Nashville 70,795 5,940 63,841 8.5% 3.8%
Navajo 231,134 31,100 157,310 16.5% 5.0%
Oklahoma City 456,968 59,662 392,250 13.2% 4.8%
Phoenix 165,835 23,178 141,787 14.1% 4.2%
Portland 105,719 7,296 97,678 7.0% 2.9%
Tucson 24,842 2,725 21,964 11.0% 4.5%
TOTAL 2,130,043 188,331 1,789,306 9.5% 3.4%

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

Source: Indian Health Service (

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