Indianz.Com > COVID-19 > Indian Health Service (Department of Health and Human Services)
Posted: December 16, 2022

ihscovid19The Indian Health Service has updated its coronavirus data, showing results through December 14, 2022.

According to the data, 561,287 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 21.9 percent of American Indians and Alaska Natives have been positive for the coronavirus.

Based on the IHS user population of 1,662,834, nearly 33.8 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, 5,039,903 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 14.

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 0.8 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 14, 2022.

IHS Area
7-day rolling
Alaska 1,127,100 56,073 920,893 5.7% 3.9%
Albuquerque 182,867 17,382 141,271 11.0% 5.0%
Bemidji 326,529 33,944 291,039 10.4% 6.0%
Billings 162,290 14,335 143,048 9.1% 6.7%
California 204,086 23,351 170,645 12.0% 8.6%
Great Plains 306,069 33,087 268,814 11.0% 7.0%
Nashville 202,903 22,005 170,497 11.4% 11.7%
Navajo 594,924 89,060 427,352 17.2% 13.0%
Oklahoma 1,252,395 187,983 1,053,093 15.1% 9.9%
Phoenix 337,820 51,592 283,681 15.4% 12.3%
Portland 257,858 22,826 234,421 8.9% 8.8%
Tucson 85,062 9,649 75,133 11.4% 10.6%
TOTAL 5,039,903 561,287 4,179,887 11.8% 9.8%

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

Data Source: Indian Health Service (

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