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Posted: January 13, 2021

COVID-19 Indian Country IHS

The Indian Health Service has updated its coronavirus data, showing results as of January 11, 2021.

According to the data, 161,231 tests have returned positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. That represents an increase of almost 1.1 percent from the 159,500 cases previously reported by the IHS.

Altogether, 1,774,430 coronavirus tests have been administered within the IHS through January 11, the data shows. That marks an increase of about 0.7 percent from the day 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 the Navajo Area (16.6 percent), the Phoenix Area (14.4 percent) and the Oklahoma City Area (13.2 percent). The first two regions 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, four regions have seen dramatic increases in COVID-19 cases. They are: the Oklahoma City Area (22.2 percent), the Phoenix Area (21.7 percent), the Navajo Area (19.3 percent) and the California Area (18.3 percent). Two of the four regions include the state of Arizona.

Overall, 9.8 percent of IHS tests have been positive since the onset of the pandemic, the data shows. Meanwhile, the 7-day average has leveled off after increasing steadily during the holiday season. It now stands at 15.5 percent.

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.

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 January 11, 2021.

IHS Area
positive *
7-day rolling
positivity *
Alaska 438,559 9,826 366,891 2.6% 3.2%
Albuquerque 80,057 7,054 54,427 11.5% 10.8%
Bemidji 119,534 8,986 107,380 7.7% 8.6%
Billings 86,108 6,989 75,631 8.5% 10.3%
California 55,570 5,280 47,137 10.1% 18.3%
Great Plains 123,477 13,230 109,691 10.8% 14.0%
Nashville 56,810 4,665 51,079 8.4% 14.3%
Navajo 202,852 27,583 138,305 16.6% 19.3%
Oklahoma City 378,967 49,194 324,332 13.2% 22.2%
Phoenix 142,848 20,409 121,362 14.4% 21.7%
Portland 69,215 5,758 62,641 8.4% 7.9%
Tucson 20,433** 2,257 18,023** 11.1% 17.8%
TOTAL 1,774,430 161,231 1,476,899 9.8% 15.5%

** Tucson Area Tested and Negative Tests decreased due to data reconciliation

* Cumulative percent positive and 7-day rolling average positivity are updated three days per week.

Source: Indian Health Service (

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