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

ihscovid19The Indian Health Service has updated its coronavirus data, showing results through September 18, 2022.

According to the data, 530,292 tests have returned positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.

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

Based on the IHS user population of 1,662,834, 31.9 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, 4,761,829 coronavirus tests have been administered within the IHS, the results show.

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 18.

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 12.3 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 18, 2022.

IHS Area
7-day rolling
Alaska 1,105,406 55,079 904,060 5.7% 6.4%
Albuquerque 158,706 15,130 122,999 11.0% 4.6%
Bemidji 315,678 32,507 281,640 10.3% 15.2%
Billings 158,807 14,080 139,809 9.1% 5.8%
California 190,234 22,093 160,408 12.1% 9.2%
Great Plains 263,903 27,897 233,856 10.7% 0.0%
Nashville 190,420 20,887 159,388 11.6% 13.5%
Navajo 551,485 81,394 396,769 17.0% 11.1%
Oklahoma 1,175,719 181,359 983,199 15.6% 11.7%
Phoenix 323,091 49,204 271,335 15.4% 8.9%
Portland 245,768 21,325 223,842 8.7% 10.0%
Tucson 82,612 9,337 73,010 11.3% 10.4%
TOTAL 4,761,829 530,292 3,950,315 11.8% 10.4%

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

Data Source: Indian Health Service (

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