Graham County COVID-19 cases continue to slow, but deaths still occurring

Safford resident latest victim to succumb to COVID-19

By Jon Johnson

SAFFORD – Halfway through February, Graham County’s recovered COVID-19 cases now outnumber active cases by more than 4-1 and the county has registered four deaths. Greenlee County – the county with the fewest number of total cases and deaths – registered two new deaths yesterday to increase its total to eight for the course of the pandemic.

On Tuesday, the Graham County Department of Health and Human Services reported the death of a Safford resident between the ages of 55-64 attributed to COVID-19. 

Graham County registered 14 deaths in January attributed to COVID-19, giving the county 18 for 2021 and 69 for the course of the pandemic.

New positive tests for COVID-19 have slowed down considerably for Graham County, especially when tests from prisons are not included. On Monday, the Graham County Department of Health and Human Services reported just 10 new positive tests; eight from the Safford zip code and two from the Thatcher zip code.

Graham County has now had 5,228 confirmed cases since the start of the pandemic, with 982 active cases, 4,177 recovered cases, and 69 deaths. Graham County has the third-lowest overall death count with La Paz County (67) and Greenlee County (8) having less. La Paz County has about half the population of Graham County, and Greenlee has about a quarter of the population. Graham County has also had more than twice as many confirmed cases of COVID-19 than La Paz, yet only one more death.    

Arizona has been reported as one of the hotspots of the world for new COVID-19 cases, and Graham County is the third-highest county with the most cases per population. According to the Arizona Department of Health Services’ COVID-19 Data Dashboard, as of Tuesday, Graham County was listed as having a percentage of 13,587 cases per 100,000 residents. Even with the influx of cases in correctional facilities, however, Graham County is still behind Yuma County (15,710 per 100,000), Santa Cruz County (14,258 per 100,000), and Apache County (14,141 per 100,000), and is just in front of Navajo County (13,553 per 100,000) in the rate of transmission per population. Conversely, Greenlee County – where there are no correctional facilities – has the lowest rate in Arizona with 5,262 per 100,000, according to Tuesday’s numbers from the ADHS, the state average is 11,124 per 100,000. 

Graham County’s demographics of cases include 723 under the age of 20, 2,586 between the ages of 20-44, 793 between the ages of 45-54, 559 between the ages of 55-64, 558 who are 65 years old or older, and nine who are unknown.

Click here to learn about how to schedule a vaccination appointment in Graham County if you are an essential worker. 

Greenlee County 

Greenlee County listed two new deaths attributed to COVID-19 late Monday night to increase its total to eight. According to the release, one victim was from the Morenci area and the other was from the Duncan area. The victims were in their 60s and 80s. 

Greenlee County also previously added three new COVID-19 cases on Monday to increase its total to 550, with 494 recovered, 48 active cases, and eight deaths.

As of Monday, the Greenlee County Health Department has administered 4,817 tests, with 4,167 negative results, and 550 positive results.


On Monday, the ADHS listed 1,132 new cases to bring its total for the pandemic to 799,740 in Arizona. The department added three new deaths attributed to COVID-19 on Tuesday, raising the total for Arizona at 14,981 dead attributed to COVID-19. 

The breakdown of total cases by county includes Maricopa with 499,865, Pima – 107,213, Pinal – 44,800, Yuma – 36,127, Mohave – 20,603, Yavapai – 16,752, Coconino – 16,081, Navajo – 15,292, Cochise – 10,847, Apache – 10,155, Santa Cruz – 7,580, Gila – 6,291, Graham – 5,228, La Paz – 2,360, and Greenlee – 546 (county lists it at 550).