County lists 5,071 recovered cases out of 5,331 total for the pandemic
By Jon Johnson
SAFFORD – According to the Graham County Department of Health and Human Services, Graham County currently only has 183 confirmed active cases of COVID-19 out of approximately 38,000 residents.
The health department also listed a total of just five new positive tests over the time span of the last four days.
Additionally, the GCDHHS and Arizona Department of Health Services announced last Thursday that Graham County’s COVID-19 test positivity had plummeted to just .7 of a percent for the week of Feb. 21. That was good for the lowest test positivity rate in the state during that time period.
Less than 1 percent of all Graham County residents who took a COVID-19 test the week of Feb. 21 tested positive for the virus. The week prior the rate was at 13.3 percent and Graham County had a previous high of a 38.9 percent positivity rate for the week of Dec. 13, 2020.
Additionally, only 3 percent of all hospital visits during the week of Feb. 21 were for COVID-like illnesses for the entire Southeastern Region, which includes Graham, Greenlee, Cochise, Santa Cruz, and Pima counties. Those two areas put Graham County firmly in the minimal transmission zone.
The third category – cases per 100,000 – was still in the “moderate transmission” zone with 39 per 100,000 during the week of Feb. 21, however, cases have significantly dropped since then and the county is almost assuredly in the minimal zone for that category currently as well, even though ADHS data won’t reflect that for another couple of weeks. Additionally, it takes two weeks in the different transmission zones before the health department changes the status, therefore Graham County is technically still listed as being in “substantial transmission” when in actuality it is almost certainly not.
Health experts advise that mitigation protocols including physical distancing, wearing face coverings when necessary, washing one’s hands, and getting vaccinated are helping reduce new cases and lessen hospital visits.
Graham County is currently vaccinating every resident who is 55 years or older. Click here to find out how to register.
Still, the disease can be fatal to some compromised patients who contract it, including two from Safford whose deaths last week were listed by the GCDHHS as being contributed to COVID-19. A common possible contributing factor to those whose deaths have been attributed to COVID-19 throughout the United States has been obesity, which leads to various other health issues. The ADHS lists a report by Trust for America’s Health done in 2019 that showed 29.5 percent of Arizona adults were obese.
As of Monday, Graham County has had 5,3331 total confirmed cases for the totality of the pandemic, with 5,071 recovered cases, 183 active cases, and 77 deaths.
Greenlee County down to seven active cases
According to the Greenlee County Health Department, Greenlee County is now down to single-digit confirmed active cases of COVID-19 with just seven active cases as of Sunday.
The health department reports having a total of 566 positive tests for the course of the pandemic, with 549 recovered cases, seven active cases, and 10 deaths.