Indianz.Com > COVID-19 > Indian Health Service (Department of Health and Human Services)
Posted: September 16, 2021

ihscovid19The Indian Health Service has updated its coronavirus data, showing results through September 15, 2021.

According to the data, 241,223 tests have returned positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. That represents an increase of nearly 1.1 percent from the 238,668 cases previously reported on September 12.

Altogether, 2,929,077 coronavirus tests have been administered within the IHS, the results show. That represents an increase of almost 0.9 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, 10 out of 12 IHS areas are seeing higher COVID-19 rates. The 📈 symbol indicates the regions in which positivity rates are on the rise:

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 12, beating the record set on September 5. Throughout most of the pandemic, the Alaska Area had seen the lowest rate of COVID-19 cases within the IHS.

Overall, 8.8 percent of IHS tests have been positive since the onset of the pandemic, the data shows. Meanwhile, the 7-day average stands at 10.6 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 15, 2021.

IHS Area
7-day rolling
Alaska 747,272 17,545 632,300 2.7% 9.0%
Albuquerque 111,195 8,792 80,820 9.8% 3.1%
Bemidji 196,222 13,715 181,291 7.0% 10.4%
Billings 116,682 8,360 104,666 7.4% 10.0%
California 112,556 11,281 96,555 10.5% 12.5%
Great Plains 168,235 15,461 152,220 9.2% 4.8%
Nashville 106,142 8,897 95,309 8.5% 11.4%
Navajo 311,493 35,415 224,332 13.6% 5.6%
Oklahoma City 662,230 82,128 576,799 12.5% 13.2%
Phoenix 207,535 26,142 180,375 12.7% 13.0%
Portland 153,215 10,338 142,165 6.8% 9.5%
Tucson 36,300 3,149 33,025 8.7% 5.8%
TOTAL 2,929,077 241,223 2,499,857 8.8% 10.6%

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

Source: Indian Health Service (

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