Indianz.Com > COVID-19 > Indian Health Service (Department of Health and Human Services)
Posted: December 20, 2021

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

According to the data, 298,618 tests have returned positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. That represents an increase of nearly 1.1 percent from the 295,454 cases previously reported by the IHS on December 15.

Altogether, 3,536,808 coronavirus tests have been administered within the IHS, the results show. That represents an increase of nearly 0.6 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, eight 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 has fallen to 7.8 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 19, 2021.

IHS Area
7-day rolling
Alaska 886,108 27,497 747,687 3.5% 3.3%
Albuquerque 126,814 10,229 95,786 9.6% 9.3%
Bemidji 246,680 19,275 226,768 7.8% 12.2%
Billings 135,052 10,208 120,950 7.8% 3.0%
California 140,573 13,581 121,234 10.1% 4.1%
Great Plains 205,920 18,541 186,690 9.0% 4.3%
Nashville 126,375 10,159 113,305 8.2% 6.6%
Navajo 382,521 45,127 279,591 13.9% 11.5%
Oklahoma City 803,428 95,382 695,605 12.1% 8.9%
Phoenix 245,261 31,434 212,618 12.9% 12.4%
Portland 185,270 12,842 171,887 7.0% 6.4%
Tucson 52,806 4,343 48,340 8.2% 8.3%
TOTAL 3,536,808 298,618 3,020,461 9.0% 7.8%

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

Source: Indian Health Service (

Join the Conversation