Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: The Graham County Department of Health and Human Services is requesting residents wear a mask while in public. A current cluster of COVID-19 cases has risen to 13 active cases; giving Graham County a total of 15 cases to date.
By Jon Johnson
SAFFORD – The Graham County Department of Health and Human Services is reporting more positive COVID-19 tests from the current cluster. Six new cases bring the total positive tests since the start of the pandemic to 15, with 13 current cases.
Graham County’s first two cases were in Pima in mid-March and both patients recovered without any hospitalization.
The six new cases involve four who live in Safford and two who live in Pima. All known close contacts of the new positive cases have been notified and placed on quarantine until cleared by the health department. A total of 33 people have been quarantined, with 20 still awaiting test results.
All of the 13 current cases have been identified through the investigation regarding a new cluster that began with a visitor from New Mexico. At least one patient with underlying health conditions has been hospitalized. All of Graham County’s cases have been from close contact, with no community spread cases reported.
The ages of the 15 total cases in Graham County include three under the age of 20, six who are between 35 – 55, and six who are 65 or older.
“As our positive cases increase, we are asking everyone to comply with Governor (Doug) Ducey’s stay at home order ‘stay home, stay safe, stay connected,’” said Graham County Health Department Director Brian Douglas. “In addition, we are requesting our residents wear face masks when out in public. These are great tools to utilize the spread of COVID-19.”
Greenlee County hasn’t had a positive test since its original outbreak, which eventually involved two family members. In that outbreak, a patient caught the virus and was then deemed fully recovered and not contagious just as a family member’s test came back as positive. That family member has since fully recovered as well. Greenlee has performed 91 tests with three tests pending.
General things that everyone should do to prevent the spread of all respiratory illnesses include:
● Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
● Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
● Stay home when you are sick.
● Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
● Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular EPA registered household cleaning spray or wipes.
● Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
● Wear a facemask when in public.
● When shopping, limit the number of people who you take with you. If possible, pick one person from your household to do the shopping.
● Find up to date information at azhealth.gov/COVID-19 and at