Indianz.Com > COVID-19 > Indian Health Service (Department of Health and Human Services)
Posted: August 23, 2022

ihscovid19The Indian Health Service has updated its coronavirus data, showing results through August 21, 2022.

According to the data, 518,623 tests have returned positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. That represents an increase of 0.7 percent from a week prior on August 14.

On July 24, the IHS reached a milestone. According to the results, over a half-million IHS patients have tested positive for COVID-19 since the onset of the pandemic in Indian Country more than two years ago.

Based on the IHS service population of 2,562,290 from 2019, the figure means that 20.2 percent of American Indians and Alaska Natives have been positive for the coronavirus.

Based on the IHS user population of 1,662,834, 31.2 percent have tested positive. The user population is defined as the number of American Indians and Alaska Natives who have lived within a service delivery area and have received health care at an IHS or tribal facility during the previous three years.

Altogether, 4,676,144 coronavirus tests have been administered within the IHS, the results show. That represents an increase of about 0.4 percent from the week 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 of 12 IHS areas. Two of them include the state of Arizona, indicating a disproportionate toll of COVID-19 in the state:

On January 19, the Oklahoma City Area overtook the Phoenix Area as the region with the second highest percentage of cumulative percent positive tests. But the two regions have virtually the same cumulative positivity rate as of August 21.

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 in the 12 areas of the IHS.

Overall, 11.8 percent of IHS tests have been positive since the onset of the pandemic, the data shows. Meanwhile, the 7-day positivity rate has been steadily rising in the last couple of weeks. It has grown significantly to 18.2 percent, one of the highest rates seen since the 2021 Christmas holiday season.

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, 2021, 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 twice a week — usually on Mondays and Thursdays. 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 Aug 21, 2022.

IHS Area
7-day rolling
Alaska 1,096,723 54,409 898,048 5.7% 8.9%
Albuquerque 156,461 14,944 120,948 11.0% 17.3%
Bemidji 312,151 31,694 278,940 10.2% 25.9%
Billings 158,096 14,003 139,184 9.1% 39.4%
California 185,323 21,621 156,041 12.2% 18.8%
Great Plains 259,953 27,186 230,660 10.5% 16.5%
Nashville 185,467 20,055 155,339 11.4% 21.8%
Navajo 536,292 79,690 385,154 17.1% 16.8%
Oklahoma 1,143,268 176,114 956,203 15.6% 21.1%
Phoenix 318,148 48,699 266,862 15.4% 16.6%
Portland 242,267 20,937 220,761 8.7% 15.9%
Tucson 81,995 9,271 72,455 11.3% 15.6%
TOTAL 4,676,144 518,623 3,880,595 11.8% 18.2%

COVID-19 testing data is updated on Mondays and Thursdays by 5 pm ET.

Data Source: Indian Health Service (

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