By Jon Johnson
SAFFORD – Graham County has now exceeded 900 cases of COVID-19.
The Graham County Department of Health and Human Services reported three new positive results for COVID-19 on both Tuesday and Wednesday, pushing the county’s total to 901 for the course of the pandemic. The new cases include three from Safford, two from Pima, and one from Thatcher.
After spiking again in late September, the county’s cases have diminished throughout the first week of October.
Lowering the number of cases is required for shuttered businesses to reopen from Governor Doug Ducey’s executive order mandate. As of the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) most recent metrics, Graham County has a current total positivity rate of 9.3 percent, which is just under the state average of 10.2 percent.
While the latest release from the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) shows Graham County has met all three benchmarks for school reopening – which is only a recommendation – the numbers are two weeks behind and do not include the most recent increases. The business reopening metrics, which are required, are currently in the yellow or “moderate” level, which allows for the reopening of most previously shuttered businesses. However, those metrics could possibly change for the worse in the coming weeks. The new data on the metrics will be released Thursday.
As of Wednesday, the Graham County Department of Health and Human Services reports 901 total confirmed cases out of 4,995 tests, with 724 recovered and 151 actives. According to GCDHHS criteria, a positive test is not considered a recovered patient until they have 30 days symptom-free. Graham County has about 39,000 residents.
A total of 26 people, mostly all over the age of 65 and who had pre-existing health conditions, have died with COVID-19 in Graham County, according to the GCDHHS.
The state’s database lists Graham County’s positive test cases include 183 who are under 20 years of age, 382 between 20-44, 102 between 45-54, 92 between 55-64, and 141 who are 65 years old or older.
As of Tuesday, the Greenlee County Health Department has administered tests to 1,317 people, with 1,226 being negative, 60 positives, and 31 results pending. The county has two active cases, 56 recovered cases, and two deaths. Greenlee County has about 10,000 residents.
The breakdown of the Greenlee cases includes three under the age of 20, 35 between 20-44, 11 between 45-54, seven between 55-64, and four who are 65 years old or older. Greenlee County currently has a total positivity rate of 3.8 percent, according to the ADHS.
San Carlos Apache Tribe
The San Carlos Apache Tribe stretches into both Graham and Gila counties and its cases add to the respective counties’ cases based on the geography of where the patients reside.
On Tuesday, the San Carlos Apache Tribe Department of Health & Human Services reported 10 new cases. To date, the Tribe has administered tests to 8,198 people with 6,956 negatives, 1,148 positives, and 94 results pending.
The Tribe lists 114 currently active cases, with 1,022 recovered cases, and 12 deaths.
The area breakdown on the reservation includes Gilson Wash – 173 positive, 148 recovered, 21 active, four deaths; Peridot – 364 positive, 323 recovered, 34 active, seven deaths; 7-Mile – 242 positive, 203 recovered, 38 active, one death; Bylas – 292 positive, 276 recovered, 16 active; other areas – 77 positive, 72 recovered, five active.
For the state, the Arizona Department of Health Services reported 604 new cases Monday to bring the total to 222,538 for the state. It reported 20 new deaths to bring the total fatalities due, at least in part, to COVID-19 to and amended 5,733 in Arizona. The state has about 7.3 million residents.
Reported positive cases in the various counties include Maricopa County with 144,342, Pima County – 26,092, Yuma County – 12,833, Pinal County – 10,859, Navajo County – 5,848, Coconino County – 4,343, Mohave County – 4,075, Apache County – 3,642, Santa Cruz County – 2,892, Yavapai County – 2,645, Cochise County – 1,934, Gila County – 1,468, Graham County – 901, La Paz County – 554, Greenlee County – 60.