Indianz.Com > COVID-19 > Indian Health Service (Department of Health and Human Services)
Posted: September 12, 2022

ihscovid19The Indian Health Service has updated its coronavirus data, showing results through September 11, 2022.

According to the data, 528,155 tests have returned positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. That represents an increase of nearly 0.5 percent from a week prior on September 5.

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 20.6 percent of American Indians and Alaska Natives have been positive for the coronavirus.

Based on the IHS user population of 1,662,834, 31.8 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, 4,740,797 coronavirus tests have been administered within the IHS, the results show. That represents an increase of nearly 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 September 11.

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 falling since reaching record highs over the summer of 2022. It now stands at 13.6 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.

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 Sep 11, 2022.

IHS Area
7-day rolling
Alaska 1,103,325 54,935 902,575 5.7% 6.7%
Albuquerque 157,899 15,091 122,231 11.0% 13.2%
Bemidji 314,938 32,387 281,030 10.3% 23.6%
Billings 158,558 14,063 139,604 9.2% 11.6%
California 186,954 21,921 157,351 12.2% 8.0%
Great Plains 263,903 27,897 233,856 10.7% 14.8%
Nashville 189,593 20,770 158,706 11.6% 13.0%
Navajo 548,670 81,082 394,570 17.0% 9.1%
Oklahoma 1,167,382 180,320 975,935 15.6% 17.3%
Phoenix 322,089 49,120 270,426 15.4% 11.0%
Portland 244,980 21,243 223,137 8.7% 17.1%
Tucson 82,506 9,326 72,915 11.3% 0.0%
TOTAL 4,740,797 528,155 3,932,336 11.8% 13.6%

Data Source: Indian Health Service (

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