Graham County drops back below 1,000 active COVID-19 cases

By Jon Johnson

SAFFORD – On Wednesday, the Graham County Department of Health and Human Services (GCDHHS) announced that 2,140 cases of COVID-19 out of a total of 3,180 cases are now listed as recovered. That leaves a current number of 990 active cases for Graham County, and 50 deaths. 

According to the GCDHHS, the county saw an increase of 36 new positive tests on Wednesday to increase the total for the pandemic to 3,180. Out of those, there have been 50 deaths attributed to COVID-19, most being those over the age of 65.

Out of the new cases reported Wednesday, 24 came from Safford, eight from Thatcher, three from Pima, and one from the San Carlos Apache Tribe.

Additionally, the increased numbers for the Safford zip code have been aided by an outbreak at the Federal Correctional Institution-Safford (FCI-Safford).  

According to the Bureau of Prisons, FCI-Safford – located on Highway 366 (Swift Trail) just west of U.S. Highway 191 – has 246 inmates who are actively positive for COVID-19, along with 14 staff members as of Wednesday, Dec. 30. The BOP also lists 42 inmates who have recovered from the virus along with two staff members.

To date, the ages of those who have been infected in Graham County include 582 under the age of 20, 1,415 between the ages of 20-44, 417 between the ages of 45-54, 350 between the ages of 55-64, 408 who are 65 or older, and six unknown.

According to the Arizona Department of Health Services’ metrics, both Graham County and the entire state of Arizona is in the “substantial transmission” spread for the virus on both the business and school dashboards. Despite that, Governor Doug Ducey has replied that tactics have changed and believes most of the spread has come from other areas than from businesses, so he has declined to shutter businesses due to the metrics. Additionally, schools are recommended to go to distance-only learning, but that is at their own discretion.

Greenlee County

As of Tuesday, the Greenlee County Health Department has administered 3,617 tests, with 3,219 negative results, and 398 positives.

The county currently lists 167 active cases, with 228 recovered cases, and three deaths.


On Tuesday, the ADHS listed 5,267 new cases to bring its total for the pandemic to 512,489 in Arizona. The department also listed 78 new deaths on Wednesday, to bring the total for Arizona to 8,718 dead attributed to COVID-19.

The breakdown of total cases by county includes Maricopa with 314,464, Pima – 68,427, Pinal – 27,191, Yuma – 27,115, Mohave – 12,108, Navajo – 11,196, Yavapai – 11,101, Coconino – 10,982, Apache – 7,336, Cochise – 7,324, Santa Cruz – 5,857, Gila – 4,419, Graham – 3,180, La Paz – 1,347, and Greenlee – 392 (county lists it at 398).

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