10 more possible exposures waiting on test results
Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: Volunteers hand out masks at a recent event in Morenci.
By Jon Johnson
SAFFORD – Sunday evening, the Graham County Department of Health and Human Services sent out a news release stating three new positive tests for COVID-19 were confirmed Sunday, bringing the total number of positive tests in the county to nine since the start of the pandemic.
The Gila Herald previously reported on the seventh positive test that was reported Sunday. The health department included two more positive tests early Sunday evening that won’t be on the state’s database until Monday.
All of the new cases have been identified through the investigation regarding the new cluster that began with a visitor from New Mexico. Six patients are recovering at home, one has been hospitalized, and the first two patients that occurred in March have fully recovered.
The ages of the patients include one teenager, four ages 35 – 45, and four over the age of 65. Of the three new cases reported on Sunday, one lives in Pima and two live in Safford. There are 10 more tests taken from people who were exposed to the most recent cluster that are still awaiting results. All of the people identified to have been possibly exposed have been quarantined.
“We as a county are continually preparing to care for the afflicted as this virus is spreading throughout our state,” said Graham County Health Department Director Brian Douglas. There is no treatment or vaccine for COVID-19 at this time, so we are focusing heavily on prevention.”
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 86 tests with one test 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