Indianz.Com > COVID-19 > Indian Health Service (Department of Health and Human Services)
Posted: November 18, 2021

ihscovid19The Indian Health Service has updated its coronavirus data, showing results through November 17, 2021.

According to the data, 282,502 tests have returned positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. That represents an increase of nearly 0.9 percent from the 280,081 cases previously reported by the IHS on November 14.

Altogether, 3,343,164 coronavirus tests have been administered within the IHS, the results show. That represents an increase of 0.8 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 and the rate has stayed consistently high. Throughout most of the pandemic, the Alaska Area had seen the lowest rate of COVID-19 cases within the IHS.

Overall, 9.0 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 November 17, 2021.

IHS Area
7-day rolling
Alaska 836,455 25,391 703,869 3.5% 6.6%
Albuquerque 120,247 9,648 89,315 9.7% 20.2%
Bemidji 233,510 17,790 215,066 7.6% 15.3%
Billings 130,878 9,915 117,180 7.8% 9.1%
California 133,726 13,170 115,286 10.3% 6.5%
Great Plains 193,922 17,594 175,671 9.1% 7.5%
Nashville 121,647 9,831 109,044 8.3% 5.9%
Navajo 359,248 41,878 261,694 13.8% 15.5%
Oklahoma City 756,179 91,459 656,676 12.2% 8.5%
Phoenix 232,992 29,656 202,149 12.8% 16.3%
Portland 177,476 12,367 164,548 7.0% 5.9%
Tucson 46,884 3,803 42,955 8.1% 11.3%
TOTAL 3,343,164 282,502 2,853,453 9.0% 10.2%

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

Source: Indian Health Service (

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