Graham County adds three more COVID-19 deaths to deadly December

Photo By Dawn Endico/Creative Commons

By Jon Johnson

SAFFORD – The increase in deaths attributed to COVID-19 in Graham County continues with three new reported deaths over the weekend to increase the total for the pandemic to 149.

The three new deaths give Graham County 23 deaths in about a month. 

On Monday, the Graham County Department of Health and Human Services listed 143 new confirmed cases over the past 11 days, to increase its total for the pandemic to 8,867 confirmed cases with 149 deaths. Graham County has 596 currently active cases and 8,122 recoveries. Graham County has a COVID-19 death rate of 1.68 percent per confirmed case. The state average is 1.76 percent.

According to the Arizona Department of Health Services, Graham County has a COVID-19 rate of 23,045 cases per 100,000 population. That is good for the second-worst rate out of any of Arizona’s 15 counties, just behind Navajo County, which has a rate of 23,264 per 100,000 population. Apache County is the third-worst with a rate of 22,173 per 100,000 population.

Greenlee County still has the lowest rate of cases by county in the state with 13,908 per 100,000 population. Greenlee is followed by Cochise County with 14,956 cases per 100,000 population and Yavapai County with 15,226 cases per 100,000 population. The state’s average is 18,625 cases per 100,000 population. 

While some cases are asymptomatic or improve within a week or two, other cases have lingered with mild to severe effects for months and even more than a year, while it proves fatal to others. While those who have already had the virus and survived likely have natural antibodies to fight the virus from quickly returning, for those who have not had the virus the best way to avoid catching it is to be vaccinated.

The ADHS recently put out new data regarding rates of COVID-19 by vaccination statusClick here to go through the data, which states that in October unvaccinated people had nearly a 4 times greater chance of contracting COVID-19 and 15 times greater risk of dying from it. 

The Graham County Department of Health and Human Services offers free vaccines from Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson and has booster shots for those 18 and over. Additionally, children 5 and up can receive a COVID-19 vaccine, and adults can have any of the three. The health department provides the vaccine Mondays from 8 a.m. – 12 p.m., Thursdays from 2 – 5 p.m., and the Pfizer vaccine for those 5 and older on Thursdays from 5 – 7:30 p.m. and Fridays from 2 – 5 p.m. Click here to register to receive a vaccine. Vaccines are also available at local pharmacies and, in Greenlee County, at Gila Health Resources.