Indianz.Com > COVID-19 > Indian Health Service (Department of Health and Human Services)
Posted: November 17, 2022

ihscovid19The Indian Health Service has updated its coronavirus data, showing results through November 16, 2022.

According to the data, 552,206 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 about 21.5 percent of American Indians and Alaska Natives have been positive for the coronavirus.

Based on the IHS user population of 1,662,834, 33.2 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, 4,958,085 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 November 16.

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. However, it has been rising in recent weeks and it now stands at 13.4 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 Nov 16, 2022.

IHS Area
7-day rolling
Alaska 1,120,970 55,827 915,624 5.7% 3.3%
Albuquerque 181,605 17,335 140,571 11.0% 7.7%
Bemidji 323,260 33,668 288,056 10.5% 8.6%
Billings 161,202 14,229 142,056 9.1% 7.4%
California 200,935 23,092 167,963 12.1% 8.7%
Great Plains 298,919 32,642 262,790 11.0% 7.2%
Nashville 199,783 21,695 167,784 11.4% 6.2%
Navajo 577,118 85,972 414,734 17.2% 21.3%
Oklahoma 1,224,284 185,381 1,027,590 15.3% 6.6%
Phoenix 331,638 50,437 278,621 15.3% 24.6%
Portland 254,529 22,467 231,450 8.8% 15.6%
Tucson 83,842 9,461 74,101 11.3% 14.3%
TOTAL 4,958,085 552,206 4,111,340 11.8% 13.4%

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

Data Source: Indian Health Service (

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