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Posted: December 16, 2021

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

According to the data, 295,454 tests have returned positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. That represents an increase of 0.5 percent from the 295,454 cases previously reported on December 11.

Altogether, 3,516,345 coronavirus tests have been administered within the IHS, the results show. That represents an increase of 0.5 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, 9 out of 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, with the release of data from December 11, the Alaska Area finally fell below 5.0 percent positivity for the first time in several months. The region had seen a notable increase in cases, with the highest 7-day positivity of 11.3 percent reported on October 6, 2021. 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 fell to 7.5 percent following a long period of high rates since the summer 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 by the IHS 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 December 15, 2021.

 
IHS Area
 
 
Tested
 
 
Positive
 
 
Negative
 
Cumulative
percent
positive
7-day rolling
average
positivity
Alaska 883,044 27,393 745,165 3.5% 3.8%
Albuquerque 126,116 10,168 94,598 9.7% 10.2%
Bemidji 245,657 19,154 225,866 7.8% 9.2%
Billings 134,515 10,192 120,475 7.8% 2.9%
California 139,454 13,542 120,223 10.1% 6.9%
Great Plains 204,311 18,467 185,168 9.1% 5.4%
Nashville 126,014 10,126 112,949 8.2% 6.6%
Navajo 380,307 44,864 277,876 13.9% 11.5%
Oklahoma City 795,917 94,670 689,457 12.1% 7.3%
Phoenix 243,874 31,271 211,316 12.9% 13.1%
Portland 184,427 12,789 171,101 7.0% 5.3%
Tucson 52,709 4,331 48,255 8.2% 3.7%
TOTAL 3,516,345 296,967 3,002,449 9.0% 7.5%

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

Source: Indian Health Service (https://www.ihs.gov/coronavirus)

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