File Photo By Jacqueline Marshall/Wyoming National Guard
By Jon Johnson
GRAHAM AND GREENLEE COUNTIES – While Graham County is reporting 27 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the last three days, its overall currently active cases have dropped significantly to 550 as of Thursday morning.
The new cases include 17 from the Safford zip code, nine from the Thatcher zip code, and one from the Pima/Bylas zip code. That equates to a roughly 1.4 percent death rate for those who have been confirmed to have caught the virus.
For the course of the pandemic, Graham County has had 6,974 confirmed cases, with 6,325 recoveries, 550 currently active cases, and 99 deaths.
Conversely, the situation continues to rise in Greenlee County, where the Greenlee County Health Department has reported 38 confirmed cases in its last three days of reporting, with 249 currently active cases. Greenlee County has about one-fourth the population of Graham County.
For the course of the pandemic, Greenlee County has had 979 confirmed cases, with 714 recoveries, 249 currently active cases, and 15 deaths. That equates to just slightly more than a 1.5 percent death rate for those who have been confirmed to have caught the virus.
Health experts advise that the best way to avoid catching the virus or becoming sick from it is to receive one of the COVID-19 vaccines, which better prepare the body to fend off the virus shall it come in contact with a person. Additionally, vaccinated people are much more likely to be asymptomatic or have mild symptoms if a breakthrough case occurs.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Graham County has a 63.8 percent vaccination rate for the population who are currently eligible to receive a vaccine (ages 12 and up), while Greenlee County is at just 44.2 percent for the eligible population.
In Graham County, 67.1 percent of the adult population is fully vaccinated, while an outstanding 99.9 percent of those 65 and older have had at least one dose of vaccine. Conversely, in Greenlee County, only 47.6 percent of the adult population is fully vaccinated, and just 73.2 percent of its residents 65 and older have had at least one dose of vaccine, according to metrics from the CDC.
The Mt. Graham Regional Medical Center reports a daily average of nine COVID-19 patients hospitalized for the past two weeks, with 94.64 percent of hospitalized patients since Sept. 1 having been unvaccinated. All of Graham County’s deaths attributed to COVID-19 have also been patients who hadn’t received the vaccine.
The Graham County Department of Health and Human Services offers free vaccines from Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson. Children 12 and up can receive the Pfizer vaccine, and adults can have any of the three. The health department provides the vaccine Mondays-Wednesdays from 8 a.m. – 12 p.m., Thursdays from 2 – 5 p.m., and the Pfizer vaccine on Thursdays and Fridays from 5 – 7:30 p.m. Click here to register to receive a vaccine.