Another Safford resident’s death attributed to COVID-19

Total cases now at 1,648 with 944 recovered, 672 active cases and 32 deaths

By Jon Johnson

SAFFORD – Another Safford resident has died with the death attributed to COVID-19.

The Graham County Department of Health and Human Services (GCDHHS) reported the death Saturday and advised the victim was a Safford resident between the ages of 55-64. The death marks the 32nd person to die attributed to COVID-19 in Graham County since the start of the pandemic in March.   

The health department also reported 28 new positive results for COVID-19 in Graham County on Saturday to push the total for the pandemic to 1,648. The new positive tests reported Thursday included 10 from Safford, seven from Pima, six from the San Carlos Apache Tribe, and five from Thatcher. Safford has nearly twice the population as 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 414 new positive tests in the first 14 days of November alone.

As of Saturday, the Graham County Department of Health and Human Services reported 1,648 total confirmed cases, with 944 recovered and 672 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 4.2 percent of Graham County has tested positive for COVID-19, with the currently active number at about 1.7 percent.

A total of 32 people, nearly all over the age of 65 and who had pre-existing health conditions, have died with COVID-19 in Graham County. About 2 percent of those who have tested positive for the virus in Graham County have died after contracting it. There were currently nine patients hospitalized for COVID-19 at the Mt. Graham Regional Medical Center on Friday.

According to the state’s database, Graham County’s positive test cases include 370 who are under 20 years of age, 700 between 20-44, 191 between 45-54, 165 between 55-64, and 218 who are 65 years old or older.

Greenlee County

The Greenlee County Health Department listed two new positive tests on Thursday to raise its total for the pandemic to 130.

The health department has administered tests to 1,913 people as of Friday, with 1,783 being negative, and 130 positives, according to the department. The county has 37 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 127 positives currently) includes 12 under the age of 20, 69 between 20-44, 25 between 45-54, 15 between 55-64, and six 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 Friday, the San Carlos Apache Tribe Department of Health & Human Services reported 36 new cases. To date, the Tribe has administered 12,875 tests with 10,594 negatives, 2,144 positives, and 137 results pending.

The Tribe lists 241 currently active cases, with 1,878 recovered cases, and 25 deaths. That is an increase of five deaths in the past week.

The area breakdown on the reservation includes Gilson Wash – 363 positive, 308 recovered, 47 active, eight deaths; Peridot – 691 positive, 614 recovered, 66 active, 11 deaths; 7-Mile – 424 positive, 373 recovered, 46 active, five deaths; Bylas – 532 positive, 467 recovered, 64 active, one death; other areas – 134 positive, 116 recovered, 18 active.   


For the state, the Arizona Department of Health Services reported 3,476 new cases Saturday to bring the total to 273,053 for the state. It reported 43 new deaths to bring the total fatalities due, at least in part, to COVID-19 to and amended 6,300 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 174,957, Pima County – 32,207, Yuma County – 15,236, Pinal County – 13,565, Navajo County – 7,104, Coconino County – 6,248, Mohave County – 5,062, Apache County – 4,364, Yavapai County – 3,570, Santa Cruz County – 3,262, Cochise County – 2,679, Gila County – 2,347, Graham County – 1,648, La Paz County – 676, Greenlee County – 128 (county reports 130).

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