COVID-19 cases slow at start of February

Thatcher resident’s death attributed to COVID-19

By Jon Johnson

SAFFORD – Cases of COVID-19 in Graham County continue to slow after the January spike, however, some are still losing their lives.

On Saturday, the Graham County Department of Health and Human Services (GCDHHS) announced the death of a Thatcher resident attributed to COVID-19. The new deaths put Graham County’s total for the pandemic at 68.

The Thatcher resident was in the 65 and older age group. No more information regarding the deaths was immediately released. The death marks the third death for Graham County due to COVID-19 in February, following 14 for January.

The GCDHHS announced 15 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, with seven coming from the Pima zip code – which includes Bylas – five from the Safford zip code, and three from the Thatcher zip code.

According to the Arizona Department of Corrections, Recovery and Release, its Safford state prisons have had 847 confirmed cases of COVID-19 from its inmates with 628 inmates listed as being recovered as of Monday. According to the Bureau of Prisons, FCI-Safford currently has 0 active cases from its inmates, with 606 recovered. It also lists two active cases from employees with 34 recovered.

The new positive tests increased Graham County’s total to 5,173, with 3,827 listed as recovered, 1,278 currently active, and 68 deaths.

Arizona has been reported as the hotspot 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 Monday, Graham County was listed at having a percentage of 13,444 cases per 100,000 residents. Graham County is still behind Yuma County (15,546 per 100,000), Santa Cruz County (14,140 per 100,000), and Apache County (13,728 per 100,000), and is just in front of Navajo County (13,238 per 100,000) in the rate of transmission per population. Conversely, Greenlee County – where there is no correctional facilities – has the lowest rate in Arizona with 5,163 per 100,000, according to Tuesday’s numbers from the ADHS, and the state average is 10,890 per 100,000. 

Graham County’s demographics of cases include 713 under the age of 20, 2,567 between the ages of 20-44, 782 between the ages of 45-54, 556 between the ages of 55-64, 546 who are 65 years old or older, and nine who are unknown. The state, Graham, and Greenlee counties are all in the “substantial” status for all three metrics on both the business dashboard and schools dashboard.

Testing Center

Embry Women’s Health provides free, drive-through COVID-19 testing at Victory Fellowship Church at 555 Entertainment Ave., seven days a week from 8 a.m – 4 p.m. Click here for more information.

Greenlee County

Greenlee County went the weekend without any new COVID-19 cases. As of Sunday, its total was 538, with 401 recovered, 131 active cases, and six deaths. 

As of Sunday, the Greenlee County Health Department has administered 4,716 tests, with 4,178 negative results, and 538 positive results.

The health department previously announced that it was opening registration for the COVID-19 vaccine to all residents who are at least 18 years of age.


On Monday, the ADHS listed 2,250 new cases to bring its total for the pandemic to 782,887 in Arizona. The department also listed seven new deaths on Monday, to bring the total for Arizona to 14,055 dead attributed to COVID-19.

The breakdown of total cases by county includes Maricopa with 488,687, Pima – 104,921, Pinal – 43,947, Yuma – 35,751, Mohave – 20,145, Yavapai – 16,590, Coconino – 15,735, Navajo – 14,936, Cochise – 10,611, Apache – 9,858, Santa Cruz – 7,517, Gila – 6,175, Graham – 5,173, La Paz – 2,305, and Greenlee – 536 (county lists it at 538).

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