Graham County has more than 700 active cases of COVID-19

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: A young girl secures her mask with loops over her ears.

Total cases now at 1,720 with 984 recovered, 704 active cases and 32 deaths

By Jon Johnson

SAFFORD – Graham County now has more than 700 active cases of COVID-19.

The county’s seven-day ELR positive rate puts it just back as the worst out of Arizona’s 15 counties at 36.3 percent, just ahead of Yuma County at 36.1 percent.  

The Graham County Department of Health and Human Services (GCDHHS) reported an increase of 29 news cases Monday and 16 new positive results for COVID-19 in Graham County on Tuesday to push the total for the pandemic to 1,720. The new positive tests include 19 from Safford, 16 from Thatcher, and five each from Pima and the San Carlos Apache Tribe. Safford has nearly twice the population of Thatcher and four times that of Pima.  

After having its biggest increase of cases in one month in October (408), Graham County has now surpassed that mark with 486 new positive tests in the first 17 days of November alone.

As of Tuesday, the Graham County Department of Health and Human Services reported 1,720 total confirmed cases, with 984 recovered and 704 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. About 4.4 percent of Graham County has tested positive for COVID-19, with the currently active number at 1.8 percent.

A total of 32 people, nearly all over the age of 65 and who had pre-existing health conditions, have died with COVID-19 in Graham County. About 1.9 percent of those who have tested positive for the virus in Graham County have died after contracting it. There were currently eight patients hospitalized for COVID-19 at the Mt. Graham Regional Medical Center on Tuesday.

According to the state’s database, Graham County’s positive test cases include 382 who are under 20 years of age, 735 between 20-44, 195 between 45-54, 175 between 55-64, and 229 who are 65 years old or older.

Photo Courtesy of Governor’s Office: On Wednesday, Governor Doug Ducey recommended Arizonans wear face masks in public, but he left it to local authorities to implement and enforce the guidelines.

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey put out a statement Monday advising limiting the number of people at gatherings, encouraging the wearing of masks, physical distancing, washing hands, and staying home when sick. He said previous mitigation measures, including responsible physical distancing, reduced occupancy, and mask requirements and compliance, continue to help protect public health but did not suggest further mitigation measures, such as closing down bars, in-person dining, or requiring schools to go to distance learning.   

“The more we practice these good behaviors, the more we can protect those we treasure most while also living in this new normal,” Ducey said.

Graham County does not have a mask mandate, however, a number of stores require the use of a mask while in the business, yet only a few actively refuse customers who choose not to wear one.   

Greenlee County

The Greenlee County Health Department listed four new positive tests on both Sunday and Monday to raise its total for the pandemic to 138.

The health department has administered tests to 2.015 people as of Monday, with 1,877 being negative, and 138 positives, according to the department. The county has 45 active cases, 91 recovered cases, and two deaths. Greenlee County has about 10,000 residents.

The breakdown of the Greenlee cases currently listed on the ADHS’ data dashboard (which only shows 132 positives currently) includes 13 under the age of 20, 72 between 20-44, 25 between 45-54, 15 between 55-64, and seven who are 65 years old or older.

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 51 new cases. To date, the Tribe has administered 13,343 tests with 10,890 negatives, 2,281 positives, and 172 results pending.

The Tribe lists 252 currently active cases, with 2,001 recovered cases, and 28 deaths. That is an increase of eight deaths in just over a week.

The area breakdown on the reservation includes Gilson Wash – 390 positive, 325 recovered, 54 active, 11 deaths; Peridot – 739 positive, 659 recovered, 69 active, 11 deaths; 7-Mile – 458 positive, 398 recovered, 55 active, five deaths; Bylas – 556 positive, 498 recovered, 57 active, one death; other areas – 138 positive, 121 recovered, 17 active.   


For the state, the Arizona Department of Health Services reported 2,984 new cases Tuesday to bring the total to 279,896 for the state. It reported 10 new deaths to bring the total fatalities due, at least in part, to COVID-19 to an amended 6,312 in Arizona. The state has about 7.3 million residents and nearly two million tests have been taken.  

Reported positive cases in the various counties include Maricopa County with 178,639, Pima County – 33,444, Yuma County – 15,642, Pinal County – 13,936, Navajo County – 7,231, Coconino County – 6,476, Mohave County – 5,208, Apache County – 4,488, Yavapai County – 3,791, Santa Cruz County – 3,337, Cochise County – 2,777, Gila County – 2,388, Graham County – 1,720, La Paz County – 687, Greenlee County – 132 (county reports 138).