Indianz.Com > COVID-19 > Indian Health Service (Department of Health and Human Services)
Posted: May 17, 2021


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

According to the data, 196,379 tests have returned positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. That represents an increase of less than 1 percent from the 196,330 cases previously reported by the IHS.

Altogether, 2,377,828 coronavirus tests have been administered within the IHS as of May 15. That represents an increase of less than 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 (out of 12 IHS areas) are seeing higher COVID-19 rates. They follow:

Overall, 8.9 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 2.7 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 May 15, 2021.

IHS Area
positive *
7-day rolling
positivity *
Alaska 607,612 12,065 518,382 2.3% 0.9%
Albuquerque 94,940 8,220 66,479 11.0% 3.7%
Bemidji 169,150 11,704 153,990 7.1% 5.1%
Billings 100,634 7,433 89,850 7.6% 1.8%
California 84,047 8,149 72,493 10.1% 1.8%
Great Plains 145,452 14,346 130,592 9.9% 2.4%
Nashville 79,552 6,255 72,434 7.9% 4.1%
Navajo 256,352 32,096 177,366 15.3% 4.5%
Oklahoma City 506,579 61,002 440,637 12.2% 1.7%
Phoenix 183,663 24,132 158,949 13.2% 5.3%
Portland 122,841 8,189 114,280 6.7% 7.5%
Tucson 27,006 2,788 24,064 10.4% 3.0%
TOTAL 2,377,828 196,379 2,019,516 8.9% 2.7%

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

Source: Indian Health Service (

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