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Posted: September 7, 2021

ihscovid19The Indian Health Service has updated its coronavirus data, showing results through September 5, 2021.

According to the data, 232,855 tests have returned positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. That represents an increase of about 1.2 percent from the 230,193 cases previously reported on September 1.

Altogether, 2,856,618 coronavirus tests have been administered within the IHS, the results show. That represents an increase of almost 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 September 5, beating records set in August. 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 9.6 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 September 5, 2021.

 
IHS Area
 
 
Tested
 
 
Positive
 
 
Negative
 
Cumulative
percent
positive
7-day rolling
average
positivity
Alaska 734,509 16,435 622,962 2.6% 5.8%
Albuquerque 109,328 8,715 79,436 9.9% 6.1%
Bemidji 191,782 13,194 175,556 7.0% 11.6%
Billings 113,181 8,039 101,533 7.3% 9.6%
California 108,501 10,708 93,097 10.3% 11.8%
Great Plains 166,138 15,335 150,226 9.3% 7.2%
Nashville 102,177 8,502 92,152 8.4% 12.5%
Navajo 304,303 34,990 218,341 13.8% 6.7%
Oklahoma City 639,086 78,421 555,968 12.4% 14.9%
Phoenix 202,171 25,420 175,732 12.6% 11.4%
Portland 149,836 9,988 139,218 6.7% 7.7%
Tucson 35,606 3,108 32,372 8.8% 3.6%
TOTAL 2,856,618 232,855 2,436,593 8.7% 9.6%

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

Source: Indian Health Service (https://www.ihs.gov/coronavirus)

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