By Jon Johnson
GRAHAM AND GREENLEE COUNTIES – While COVID-19 restrictions are being lessened throughout the state they are being increased in Greenlee County, where cases continue to rise.
Positive tests are also on the rise in Graham County, which reported an additional three cases Monday to bring its total to 36 for the pandemic. Two of the new cases are associated with the latest cluster, which has also seen two COVID-19 related deaths in Graham County. Those patients were elderly (one in their 70s and one in their 90s) and had underlying health conditions.
The third new case is under investigation. Two of the new cases live in Safford and one is a San Carlos Apache tribal member, according to the Graham County Department of Health and Human Services.
Out of all the patients, seven have been under the age of 20, three are 21-34 years old, 16 are 35-60 years old, and 10 have been 65 years old or older. Graham County has tested 559 patients, with nine tests currently pending.
In neighboring Greenlee County, two new confirmed positive tests increase Greenlee’s total to eight for the pandemic. According to the Greenlee County Health Department, the source of the new positive cases is being investigated and any individuals who are identified as having been possibly exposed to infectious patients will be contacted directly.
Greenlee County has also had one COVID-19 related death from an elderly patient who had underlying health conditions. The patient is believed to have contacted the virus through the same recent cluster in Graham County.
Greenlee County has tested 221 patients with 18 tests currently pending. Even with the two new cases, Greenlee County remains to have the fewest cases for any county in Arizona by far.