Indianz.Com > COVID-19 > Indian Health Service (Department of Health and Human Services)
Posted: December 7, 2022

ihscovid19The Indian Health Service has updated its coronavirus data, showing results through December 4, 2022.

According to the data, 557,777 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 21.8 percent of American Indians and Alaska Natives have been positive for the coronavirus.

Based on the IHS user population of 1,662,834, 33.5 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, 5,004,436 coronavirus tests have been administered within the IHS, the results show. The number of tests surpassed 5 million on December 4, according to the data.

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:

The Phoenix Area has overtaken the Oklahoma City 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 December 4.

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 12.5 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 Dec 4, 2022.

IHS Area
7-day rolling
Alaska 1,124,885 55,995 918,957 5.7% 3.1%
Albuquerque 182,284 17,354 140,912 11.0% 3.6%
Bemidji 325,048 33,830 289,677 10.5% 5.4%
Billings 161,903 14,300 142,696 9.1% 8.2%
California 203,158 23,269 169,874 12.0% 12.5%
Great Plains 302,887 32,887 266,141 11.0% 6.7%
Nashville 201,364 21,839 169,138 11.4% 12.6%
Navajo 589,157 88,257 423,007 17.3% 19.8%
Oklahoma 1,237,444 186,503 1,039,640 15.2% 9.5%
Phoenix 335,730 51,297 281,882 15.4% 18.1%
Portland 256,279 22,678 232,988 8.9% 13.9%
Tucson 84,297 9,568 74,449 11.4% 0.0%
TOTAL 5,004,436 557,777 4,149,361 11.8% 12.5%

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

Data Source: Indian Health Service (

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