Indianz.Com > COVID-19 > Indian Health Service (Department of Health and Human Services)
Posted: March 19, 2021

COVID-19 Indian Country IHS

The Indian Health Service has updated its coronavirus data, showing results through March 17, 2021.

According to the data, 188,890 tests have returned positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. That represents an increase of less than 1 percent from the 188,783 cases previously reported by the IHS.

Altogether, 2,150,686 coronavirus tests have been administered within the IHS through March 16, 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, 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 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 17, 2021.

IHS Area
positive *
7-day rolling
positivity *
Alaska 546,087 11,367 463,201 2.4% 0.8%
Albuquerque 90,389 8,052 62,186 11.5% 4.2%
Bemidji 146,348 10,265 132,555 7.2% 4.6%
Billings 95,219 7,322 84,621 8.0% 2.7%
California 73,711 7,677 62,347 11.0% 5.7%
Great Plains 135,660 13,991 121,150 10.4% 5.9%
Nashville 71,461 5,957 64,527 8.5% 2.3%
Navajo 232,721 31,177 158,509 16.4% 4.8%
Oklahoma City 459,908 59,811 395,057 13.1% 5.1%
Phoenix 166,925 23,219 142,843 14.0% 3.4%
Portland 107,233 7,325 99,201 6.9% 2.5%
Tucson 25,024 2,727 22,144 11.0% 2.4%
TOTAL 2,150,686 188,890 1,808,341 9.5% 3.0%

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

Source: Indian Health Service (

Join the Conversation