Another Safford resident succumbs to COVID-19

Total cases now at 1,745 with 994 recovered 718 active cases and 33 deaths

By Jon Johnson

SAFFORD – Another Safford resident has died after contracting COVID-19.

According to the Graham County Department of Health and Human Services, the resident was over the age of 65. No further information about the patient was released.

Along with the new death, the GCDHHS reported an increase of 25 new cases Wednesday in Graham County to push the total for the pandemic to 1,745. The new positive tests include 12 from Safford, six from the San Carlos Apache Tribe, four from Thatcher, and three from Pima. Safford has nearly twice the population of Thatcher and four times that of Pima.  

After having its biggest increase of cases in one month in October (408), Graham County has now surpassed that mark with 511 new positive tests in the first 18 days of November alone.

As of Wednesday, the Graham County Department of Health and Human Services reported 1,745 total confirmed cases, with 994 recovered and 718 actives. According to GCDHHS criteria, a positive test is not considered a recovered patient until they have 30 days symptom-free. Graham County has about 39,000 residents. About 4.4 percent of Graham County has tested positive for COVID-19, with the currently active number at 1.8 percent.

A total of 33 people, nearly all over the age of 65 and who had pre-existing health conditions, have died with COVID-19 in Graham County. About 1.9 percent of those who have tested positive for the virus in Graham County have died after contracting it. There were currently eight patients hospitalized for COVID-19 at the Mt. Graham Regional Medical Center on Tuesday.

According to the state’s database, Graham County’s positive test cases include 386 who are under 20 years of age, 748 between 20-44, 196 between 45-54, 178 between 55-64, and 233 who are 65 years old or older.

Photo Courtesy of Governor’s Office: Governor Doug Ducey recommended Arizonans wear face masks in public, but he left it to local authorities to implement and enforce the guidelines.

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey put out a statement Monday advising limiting the number of people at gatherings, encouraging the wearing of masks, physical distancing, washing hands, and staying home when sick. He said previous mitigation measures, including responsible physical distancing, reduced occupancy, and mask requirements and compliance, continue to help protect public health but did not suggest further mitigation measures, such as closing down bars, in-person dining, or requiring schools to go to distance learning.  

“The more we practice these good behaviors, the more we can protect those we treasure most while also living in this new normal,” Ducey said.

Graham County does not have a mask mandate, however, a number of stores require the use of a mask while in the business, yet only a few actively refuse customers who choose not to wear one.

Ducey is expected to address the recent increases during a press conference Wednesday at 2 p.m.    

Greenlee County

Raymundo Frasquillo File Photo/Gila Herald: Volunteers hand out masks at an event in Morenci.

The Greenlee County Health Department listed 10 new positive tests on Tuesday to raise its total for the pandemic to 148.

The health department has administered tests to 2,059 people as of Tuesday, with 1,911 being negative, and 148 positives, according to the department. The county has 55 active cases, 91 recovered cases, and two deaths. Greenlee County has about 10,000 residents.

The breakdown of the Greenlee cases currently listed on the ADHS’ data dashboard (which only shows 142 positives currently) includes 15 under the age of 20, 75 between 20-44, 26 between 45-54, 19 between 55-64, and seven who are 65 years old or older.

San Carlos Apache Tribe

The San Carlos Apache Tribe stretches into both Graham and Gila counties and its cases add to the respective counties’ cases based on the geography of where the patients reside.

On Tuesday, the San Carlos Apache Tribe Department of Health & Human Services reported 66 new cases. To date, the Tribe has administered 13,545 tests with 10,982 negatives, 2,347 positives, and 216 results pending.

The Tribe lists 264 currently active cases, with 2,055 recovered cases, and 28 deaths. That is an increase of eight deaths in just over a week.

The area breakdown on the reservation includes Gilson Wash – 402 positive, 330 recovered, 61 active, 11 deaths; Peridot – 770 positive, 681 recovered, 78 active, 11 deaths; 7-Mile – 470 positive, 408 recovered, 57 active, five deaths; Bylas – 563 positive, 513 recovered, 49 active, one death; other areas – 142 positive, 123 recovered, 19 active.   


For the state, the Arizona Department of Health Services reported 3,206 new cases Wednesday to bring the total to 283,102 for the state. It reported 53 new deaths to bring the total fatalities due, at least in part, to COVID-19 to and amended 6,365 in Arizona. The state has about 7.3 million residents and nearly two million tests have been taken.  

Reported positive cases in the various counties include Maricopa County with 180,608, Pima County – 33,822, Yuma County – 15,788, Pinal County – 14,154, Navajo County – 7,295, Coconino County – 6,537, Mohave County – 5,271, Apache County – 4,564, Yavapai County – 3,864, Santa Cruz County – 3,363, Cochise County – 2,807, Gila County – 2,435, Graham County – 1,745, La Paz County – 707, Greenlee County – 142 (county reports 148).

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