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

ihscovid19The Indian Health Service has updated its coronavirus data, showing results through October 20, 2021.

According to the data, 265,299 tests have returned positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. That represents an increase of 0.7 percent from the 263,357 cases previously reported on October 17.

Altogether, 3,161,426 coronavirus tests have been administered within the IHS, the results show. That represents an increase of 0.6 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 yet another instance of surges across every region of Indian Country. 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 October 6, with the rate from October 17 almost reaching it. Throughout most of the pandemic, the Alaska Area had seen the lowest rate of COVID-19 cases within the IHS.

Overall, 8.9 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 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 October 20, 2021.

IHS Area
7-day rolling
Alaska 793,014 22,190 668,267 3.2% 9.9%
Albuquerque 116,037 9,126 85,839 9.6% 7.4%
Bemidji 218,477 15,912 201,519 7.3% 9.2%
Billings 124,690 9,191 111,800 7.6% 14.3%
California 126,155 12,673 108,427 10.5% 10.8%
Great Plains 184,471 16,728 167,125 9.1% 8.4%
Nashville 116,729 9,581 104,094 8.4% 5.0%
Navajo 333,229 38,098 242,069 13.6% 13.1%
Oklahoma City 721,265 89,044 627,766 12.4% 8.2%
Phoenix 219,396 27,653 190,637 12.7% 12.3%
Portland 166,972 11,709 154,558 7.0% 7.8%
Tucson 40,991 3,394 37,475 8.3% 7.1%
TOTAL 3,161,426 265,299 2,699,576 8.9% 10.2%

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

Source: Indian Health Service (
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