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Posted: March 26, 2021

COVID-19 Indian Country IHS

The Indian Health Service has updated its coronavirus data, showing results through March 24, 2021.

According to the data, 189,563 tests have returned positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. That represents an increase of less than 1 percent from the 189,482 cases previously reported by the IHS.

Altogether, 2,178,120 coronavirus tests have been administered within the IHS through March 24, the data shows. That represent an increase of about 0.2 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 three 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, only one area continues to see higher COVID-19 rates. That’s a marked change from the multiple regions that were experiencing coronavirus spikes in the last few months.

Overall, 9.4 percent of IHS tests have been positive since the onset of the pandemic, the data shows. Meanwhile, the 7-day average has declined significantly after increasing during the holiday season. It now stands at 2.5 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 March 24, 2021.

IHS Area
positive *
7-day rolling
positivity *
Alaska 555,293 11,441 471,523 2.4% 0.8%
Albuquerque 90,624 8,059 62,385 11.4% 3.0%
Bemidji 149,089 10,371 135,179 7.1% 3.9%
Billings 95,883 7,340 85,223 7.9% 2.0%
California 74,718 7,740 63,724 10.8% 5.0%
Great Plains 136,084 14,005 121,566 10.3% 3.3%
Nashville 72,464 5,986 65,711 8.3% 2.9%
Navajo 235,164 31,262 160,423 16.3% 3.5%
Oklahoma City 466,619 59,989 401,558 13.0% 2.8%
Phoenix 167,945 23,255 143,835 13.9% 3.5%
Portland 108,991 7,385 101,265 6.8% 3.3%
Tucson 25,246 2,730 22,363 10.9% 1.7%
TOTAL 2,178,120 189,563 1,834,755 9.4% 2.5%

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

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