Indianz.Com > COVID-19 > Indian Health Service (Department of Health and Human Services)
Posted: August 31, 2021

ihscovid19The Indian Health Service has updated its coronavirus data, showing results through August 28, 2021.

According to the data, 226,953 tests have returned positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. That represents an increase of almost 1.5 percent from the 223,609 cases previously reported on August 24.

Altogether, 2,798,572 coronavirus tests have been administered within the IHS, the results show. That represents an increase of 1.1 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, 8.7 percent of IHS tests have been positive since the onset of the pandemic, the data shows. Meanwhile, the 7-day average stands at 10.2 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 28, 2021.

IHS Area
7-day rolling
Alaska 722,742 15,760 613,345 2.5% 5.5%
Albuquerque 107,999 8,626 77,538 10.0% 2.8%
Bemidji 188,800 12,857 172,942 6.9% 12.4%
Billings 111,684 7,896 100,176 7.3% 6.9%
California 105,903 10,396 91,015 10.3% 11.8%
Great Plains 163,223 15,125 147,557 9.3% 11.5%
Nashville 99,334 8,160 89,732 8.3% 11.9%
Navajo 297,649 34,546 212,821 14.0% 6.0%
Oklahoma City 623,993 75,984 543,054 12.3% 15.6%
Phoenix 198,320 24,950 172,258 12.7% 10.6%
Portland 144,608 9,591 134,550 6.7% 11.6%
Tucson 34,317 3,062 31,114 9.0% 5.1%
TOTAL 2,798,572 226,953 2,386,102 8.7% 10.2%

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

Source: Indian Health Service (

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