Another Safford resident’s death attributed to COVID-19

Graham County now lists 71 deaths from COVID-19

By Jon Johnson

SAFFORD – The Graham County Department of Health and Human Services (GCDHHS) announced the death of a Safford resident in the 20-44 age group attributed to COVID-19 on Thursday.

On Wednesday, the GCDHHS reported the death of a Safford resident under the age of 20 attributed to COVID-19. 

Graham County registered 14 deaths in January and now six in February attributed to COVID-19, giving the county 20 for 2021 and 71 for the course of the pandemic.

New positive tests for COVID-19 have slowed down considerably for Graham County, especially when tests from prisons are not included. On Thursday, the Graham County Department of Health and Human Services reported just seven new positive tests; five from the Safford zip code and one each from the Thatcher and Pima zip codes. The Pima zip code includes the Bylas area.

Graham County has now had 5,239 confirmed cases since the start of the pandemic, with 925 active cases, 4,243 recovered cases, and 71 deaths. Graham County has the third-lowest overall death count with La Paz County (68) and Greenlee County (9) having less. La Paz County has about half the population of Graham County, and Greenlee has about a quarter of the population. Graham County has also had more than twice as many confirmed cases of COVID-19 than La Paz, yet only three more deaths.    

Arizona has been reported as one of the hotspots of the world for new COVID-19 cases, and Graham County is the fourth-highest county with the most cases per population. According to the Arizona Department of Health Services’ COVID-19 Data Dashboard, as of Thursday, Graham County was listed as having a percentage of 13,616 cases per 100,000 residents. Even with the influx of cases in correctional facilities, however, Graham County is still behind Yuma County (15,737 per 100,000), Santa Cruz County (14,281 per 100,000), and Apache County (14,208 per 100,000), and is just in front of Navajo County (13,570 per 100,000) in the rate of transmission per population. Conversely, Greenlee County – where there are no correctional facilities – has the lowest rate in Arizona with 5,281 per 100,000, according to Tuesday’s numbers from the ADHS, the state average is 11,158 per 100,000. 

Graham County’s demographics of cases include 724 under the age of 20, 2,590 between the ages of 20-44, 798 between the ages of 45-54, 559 between the ages of 55-64, 559 who are 65 years old or older, and nine who are unknown.

Click here to learn about how to schedule a vaccination appointment in Graham County if you are an essential worker. 

Greenlee County

It took Greenlee County an entire year to register six deaths from COVID-19 and now it has listed three in less than one week. 

The Greenlee County Health Department announced the death of a second Morenci resident attributed to COVID-19 this week. The resident was in their 60s. 

The death marks the ninth COVID-19 death for Greenlee County, with four from the Duncan area, three from the Clifton area, and now two from the Morenci area. 

The health department also listed one new positive case of COVID-19, increasing the county’s total for the pandemic to 551. 

As of Wednesday, the health department has administered 4,846 tests with 4,295 negative results and 551 positives. The county lists 48 active cases, 494 recovered cases, and nine deaths.


On Thursday, the ADHS listed 1,143 new cases to bring its total for the pandemic to 802,198 in Arizona. The department added 213 new deaths attributed to COVID-19 on Thursday, raising the total for Arizona at 15,276 dead attributed to COVID-19. 

The breakdown of total cases by county includes Maricopa with 501,214, Pima – 107,582, Pinal – 45,117, Yuma – 36,190, Mohave – 20,695, Yavapai – 16,793, Coconino – 16,138, Navajo – 15,311, Cochise – 10,882, Apache – 10,203, Santa Cruz – 7,592, Gila – 6,318, Graham – 5,239, La Paz – 2,376, and Greenlee – 548 (county lists it at 551).

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