Additional COVID-19 deaths for Graham and Greenlee counties

Contributed Photo/Courtesy U.S. Census Bureau: Graham County has listed 13 new deaths attributed to COVID-19 in the past two weeks.

By Jon Johnson

GRAHAM AND GREENLEE COUNTIES – The sudden increase in deaths from COVID-19 in Graham County continues.

After having nine deaths in the previous 11 days, Graham County saw two more deaths over the weekend and two more on Tuesday to put its total to 13 in the last two weeks and 139 for the course of the pandemic. On Tuesday, the Greenlee County Health Department also reported an additional death attributed to COVID-19, to give Greenlee County 23 for the course of the pandemic.

The new death in Greenlee County was a Duncan resident in their 80s. For the course of the pandemic, Greenlee County has had 10 deaths from the Duncan area, eight from the Clifton area, and five from the Morenci area.

Greenlee also listed four new confirmed cases, to put its total for the pandemic to 1,446, with 1,286 recoveries, 137 currently active cases, and 23 deaths for a death rate of 1.6 percent per confirmed case.

Graham County listed 13 new confirmed cases on Tuesday, to increase its total for the pandemic to 8,680 confirmed cases with 139 deaths. Graham County has 836 currently active cases and 7,705 recoveries. Graham County has a COVID-19 death rate of 1.57 percent per confirmed case. Its death rate is also 1.6 percent per confirmed case. The state average is 1.75 percent.

The biggest age group affected has been those 20-44 with 3,991 cases, followed by those under 20 with 1,553 cases, those 45-54 with 1,225 cases, those 65 and older with 942 cases, those 55-64 with 934 cases, and 35 unknown. 

According to the Arizona Department of Health Services, Graham County has a COVID-19 rate of 22,559 per 100,000 population. That is good for the worst rate out of any of Arizona’s 15 counties, with the next closest being Navajo County with a rate of 22,335 per 100,000 population and Apache County with a rate of 21,674 per 100,000 population.

Even with a recent uptick in cases, Greenlee County still has the lowest rate of cases by county in the state with 13,494 per 100,000 population. Greenlee is followed by Cochise County with 14,338 cases per 100,000 population and Yavapai County with 14,532 cases per 100,000 population. The state’s average is 17,835 cases per 100,000 population. 

While some cases are asymptomatic or improve within a week or two, other cases have lingered with mild to severe effects for months and even more than a year, while it proves fatal to others. While those who have already had the virus and survived likely have natural antibodies to fight the virus from quickly returning, for those who have not had the virus the best way to avoid catching it is to be vaccinated.

The Graham County Department of Health and Human Services offers free vaccines from Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson and has booster shots for those 18 and over. Additionally, children 5 and up can receive a COVID-19 vaccine, and adults can have any of the three. The health department provides the vaccine Mondays from 8 a.m. – 12 p.m., Thursdays from 2 – 5 p.m., and the Pfizer vaccine for those 5 and older on Thursdays from 5 – 7:30 p.m. and Fridays from 2 – 5 p.m. Click here to register to receive a vaccine.  

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