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Posted: March 25, 2021

COVID-19 Indian Country IHS

The Indian Health Service has updated its coronavirus data, showing results through March 23, 2021.

According to the data, 189,482 tests have returned positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. That represents an increase of less than 1 percent from the 189,335 cases previously reported by the IHS.

Altogether, 2,174,448 coronavirus tests have been administered within the IHS through March 23, the data shows. That represent an increase of about 0.3 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, 9.4 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 2.8 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 23, 2021.

IHS Area
positive *
7-day rolling
positivity *
Alaska 554,733 11,441 470,963 2.4% 0.9%
Albuquerque 90,569 8,058 62,325 11.4% 3.1%
Bemidji 148,631 10,354 134,733 7.1% 4.0%
Billings 95,819 7,339 85,160 7.9% 3.2%
California 74,561 7,735 63,655 10.8% 4.9%
Great Plains 136,084 14,005 121,566 10.3% 5.9%
Nashville 72,308 5,983 65,551 8.4% 3.0%
Navajo 234,769 31,257 160,119 16.3% 4.0%
Oklahoma City 465,495 59,966 400,485 13.0% 3.2%
Phoenix 167,752 23,248 143,635 13.9% 3.5%
Portland 108,528 7,366 100,814 6.8% 2.4%
Tucson 25,199 2,730 22,316 10.9% 2.0%
TOTAL 2,174,448 189,482 1,831,322 9.4% 2.8%

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

Source: Indian Health Service (

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