Indianz.Com > COVID-19 > Indian Health Service (Department of Health and Human Services)
Posted: September 23, 2021

ihscovid19The Indian Health Service has updated its coronavirus data, showing results through September 22, 2021.

According to the data, 247,032 tests have returned positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. That represents an increase of 1.2 percent from the 243,988 cases previously reported on September 19.

Altogether, 2,982,662 coronavirus tests have been administered within the IHS, the results show. That represents an increase of nearly 0.9 percent from three 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, all 12 IHS areas are seeing high COVID-19 rates, marking the second time in recent weeks that every region of Indian Country is experiencing a surge. The 📈 red graph symbol indicates the areas in which positivity rates are on the rise, with multiple symbols indicating notable increases:

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 22, beating prior records. 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 10.9 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 updating 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 22, 2021.

IHS Area
7-day rolling
Alaska 756,896 18,483 640,412 2.8% 9.7%
Albuquerque 111,733 8,825 81,297 9.8% 6.1%
Bemidji 200,543 14,167 185,194 7.1% 10.3%
Billings 118,923 8,540 106,664 7.4% 8.0%
California 116,226 11,676 99,801 10.5% 12.9%
Great Plains 171,376 15,651 155,029 9.2% 7.4%
Nashville 108,700 9,104 97,510 8.5% 8.1%
Navajo 315,737 35,969 227,913 13.6% 13.1%
Oklahoma City 678,677 84,287 590,949 12.5% 12.4%
Phoenix 210,344 26,509 182,787 12.7% 13.2%
Portland 155,865 10,602 144,543 6.8% 10.2%
Tucson 37,642 3,219 34,297 8.6% 8.0%
TOTAL 2,982,662 247,032 2,546,396 8.8% 10.9%

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

Source: Indian Health Service (

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