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Posted: March 17, 2021

COVID-19 Indian Country IHS

The Indian Health Service has updated its coronavirus data, showing results through March 15, 2021.

According to the data, 188,598 tests have returned positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. That represents an increase of less than 1 percent from the 188,449 cases previously reported by the IHS.

Altogether, 2,140,411 coronavirus tests have been administered within the IHS through March 15, 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, two 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 3.3 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 15, 2021.

IHS Area
positive *
7-day rolling
positivity *
Alaska 542,655 11,338 460,487 2.4% 0.9%
Albuquerque 90,053 8,042 61,884 11.5% 4.4%
Bemidji 145,543 10,230 131,794 7.2% 4.2%
Billings 94,947 7,312 84,371 8.0% 2.2%
California 73,399 7,664 62,085 11.0% 9.1%
Great Plains 134,882 13,934 120,419 10.4% 6.7%
Nashville 71,289 5,948 64,353 8.5% 1.7%
Navajo 231,801 31,137 157,857 16.5% 4.8%
Oklahoma City 458,425 59,762 393,669 13.2% 5.0%
Phoenix 166,310 23,198 142,246 14.0% 4.2%
Portland 106,216 7,307 98,199 6.9% 2.4%
Tucson 24,891 2,726 22,012 11.0% 7.1%
TOTAL 2,140,411 188,598 1,799,376 9.5% 3.3%

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

Source: Indian Health Service (

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