Indianz.Com > COVID-19 > Indian Health Service (Department of Health and Human Services)
Posted: October 20, 2022

ihscovid19The Indian Health Service has updated its coronavirus data, showing results through October 19, 2022.

According to the data, 539,798 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 nearly 21.1 percent of American Indians and Alaska Natives have been positive for the coronavirus.

Based on the IHS user population of 1,662,834, almost 32.5 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, 4,855,615 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 19.

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 dropped significantly, following record highs after the Christmas 2021 holiday. It now stands at 9.2 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 19, 2022.

IHS Area
7-day rolling
Alaska 1,114,520 55,476 910,174 5.7% 4.1%
Albuquerque 160,083 15,359 124,137 11.0% 19.0%
Bemidji 320,501 33,362 285,638 10.5% 15.7%
Billings 160,027 14,150 140,960 9.1% 6.0%
California 193,064 22,427 162,894 12.1% 6.3%
Great Plains 288,119 30,529 254,577 10.7% 8.2%
Nashville 196,655 21,508 165,040 11.5% 9.9%
Navajo 560,659 82,534 403,980 17.0% 16.6%
Oklahoma 1,203,511 183,939 1,008,290 15.4% 7.0%
Phoenix 326,978 49,561 274,855 15.3% 9.3%
Portland 248,167 21,573 225,992 8.7% 7.2%
Tucson 83,331 9,380 73,674 11.3% 10.1%
TOTAL 4,855,615 539,798 4,030,211 11.8% 9.2%

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

Data Source: Indian Health Service (

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