Indianz.Com > COVID-19 > Indian Health Service (Department of Health and Human Services)
Posted: October 11, 2022

ihscovid19The Indian Health Service has updated its coronavirus data, showing results through October 9, 2022.

According to the data, 535,359 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 20.9 percent of American Indians and Alaska Natives have been positive for the coronavirus.

Based on the IHS user population of 1,662,834, 32.2 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, 4,809,546 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. Still, the two regions have virtually the same cumulative positivity rate as of October 5.

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 appears to be slowly rising over the past couple of weeks. It now stands at 11.7 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 Oct 9, 2022.

IHS Area
7-day rolling
Alaska 1,111,675 55,354 908,191 5.7% 4.8%
Albuquerque 159,773 15,310 123,880 11.0% 11.0%
Bemidji 319,464 33,181 284,745 10.4% 13.6%
Billings 159,746 14,135 140,693 9.1% 7.8%
California 191,521 22,248 161,524 12.1% 2.3%
Great Plains 266,544 28,210 236,207 10.7% 8.5%
Nashville 192,809 21,204 161,380 11.6% 11.7%
Navajo 557,689 82,088 401,710 17.0% 12.4%
Oklahoma 1,194,048 183,311 999,508 15.5% 15.9%
Phoenix 325,507 49,420 273,536 15.3% 8.8%
Portland 247,553 21,527 225,424 8.7% 10.5%
Tucson 83,217 9,371 73,576 11.3% 7.3%
TOTAL 4,809,546 535,359 3,990,374 11.8% 11.7%

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

Data Source: Indian Health Service (

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