Indianz.Com > COVID-19 > Indian Health Service (Department of Health and Human Services)
Posted: August 27, 2021

ihscovid19The Indian Health Service has updated its coronavirus data, showing results through August 24, 2021.

According to the data, 223,609 tests have returned positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. That represents an increase of more than 1.2 percent from the 220,843 cases previously reported on August 21.

Altogether, 2,767,436 coronavirus tests have been administered within the IHS, the results show. That represents an increase of about 1.0 percent from four days 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 five 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, 11 areas (out of 12 IHS areas) are seeing higher COVID-19 rates. They follow:

Notably, the 7-day rolling average positivity for the Alaska Area has steadily grown in recent weeks. The region recorded its highest-ever rate with the release of data on August 14, beating the record set on August 10. Throughout most of the pandemic, the Alaska Area had seen the lowest rate of COVID-19 cases within the IHS.

Overall, 8.6 percent of IHS tests have been positive since the onset of the pandemic, the data shows. Meanwhile, the 7-day average stands at 9.9 percent following a long period of far lower rates in the spring of 2021.

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.

Beginning June 7, the IHS began updating its coronavirus data on a weekly basis. But as the number of COVID-19 cases grows again, the agency is releasing results on Mondays and Thursdays. During the height of the pandemic throughout 2020 and the first half of 2021, results were provided every day.

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 August 24, 2021.

IHS Area
7-day rolling
Alaska 717,411 15,421 609,426 2.5% 5.1%
Albuquerque 107,043 8,609 77,302 10.0% 5.9%
Bemidji 187,818 12,729 172,125 6.9% 9.7%
Billings 110,690 7,823 99,416 7.3% 6.9%
California 103,685 10,086 89,165 10.2% 14.2%
Great Plains 161,584 14,854 146,215 9.2% 5.0%
Nashville 98,422 8,018 88,660 8.3% 12.4%
Navajo 292,660 34,282 208,640 14.1% 7.8%
Oklahoma City 613,600 74,453 535,582 12.2% 15.6%
Phoenix 196,316 24,760 170,710 12.7% 12.2%
Portland 144,089 9,527 134,104 6.6% 7.1%
Tucson 34,118 3,047 30,930 9.0% 4.8%
TOTAL 2,767,436 223,609 2,362,275 8.6% 9.9%

COVID-19 testing data is updated on Mondays and Thursdays.

Source: Indian Health Service (

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