Indianz.Com > COVID-19 > Indian Health Service (Department of Health and Human Services)
Posted: September 21, 2021

ihscovid19The Indian Health Service has updated its coronavirus data, showing results through September 19, 2021.

According to the data, 243,988 tests have returned positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. That represents an increase of 1.4 percent from the 241,223 cases previously reported on September 15.

Altogether, 2,956,894 coronavirus tests have been administered within the IHS, the results show. That represents an increase of 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, 11 out of 12 IHS areas are seeing higher COVID-19 rates. The 📈 red graph 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 10.2 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 September 19, 2021.

IHS Area
7-day rolling
Alaska 752,198 17,944 636,060 2.7% 7.8%
Albuquerque 111,459 8,804 81,062 9.8% 4.1%
Bemidji 198,479 13,949 183,325 7.1% 10.1%
Billings 116,786 8,365 104,765 7.4% 10.7%
California 114,451 11,444 98,197 10.4% 10.8%
Great Plains 171,376 15,651 155,029 9.2% 6.0%
Nashville 107,227 9,005 96,396 8.5% 10.9%
Navajo 314,152 35,643 226,517 13.6% 7.7%
Oklahoma City 669,758 83,191 583,390 12.5% 14.2%
Phoenix 208,897 26,309 181,526 12.7% 12.2%
Portland 154,601 10,468 143,424 6.8% 10.2%
Tucson 37,510 3,215 34,169 8.6% 7.1%
TOTAL 2,956,894 243,988 2,523,860 8.8% 10.2%

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

Source: Indian Health Service (

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