Indianz.Com > COVID-19 > Indian Health Service (Department of Health and Human Services)
Posted: January 2, 2023

ihscovid19The Indian Health Service has updated its coronavirus data, showing results through December 27, 2022.

According to the data, 564,617 tests have returned positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.

On July 24, 2022, 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 22.0 percent of American Indians and Alaska Natives have been positive for the coronavirus.

Based on the IHS user population of 1,662,834, more than 33.9 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, 5,069,276 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 27.

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 10.4 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 Dec 27, 2022.

IHS Area
7-day rolling
Alaska 1,129,200 56,172 922,677 5.7% 4.6%
Albuquerque 183,458 17,399 141,613 10.9% 2.8%
Bemidji 327,883 34,083 292,255 10.4% 7.5%
Billings 162,847 14,396 143,554 9.1% 2.2%
California 205,357 23,489 171,699 12.0% 11.0%
Great Plains 307,893 33,180 270,415 10.9% 4.3%
Nashville 204,220 22,149 171,637 11.4% 8.5%
Navajo 601,257 89,732 432,476 17.2% 11.2%
Oklahoma 1,262,826 189,435 1,062,012 15.1% 13.6%
Phoenix 339,875 51,889 285,443 15.4% 14.3%
Portland 258,978 22,943 235,428 8.9% 8.3%
Tucson 85,482 9,750 75,452 11.4% 6.8%
TOTAL 5,069,276 564,617 4,204,661 11.8% 10.4%

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

Data Source: Indian Health Service (

Join the Conversation