By Jon Johnson
SAFFORD – The Graham County Department of Health and Human Services announced the death of a San Carlos Apache Tribal member in the 55-64 age group attributed to COVID-19. No other details were made available.
Graham County registered 14 deaths in January attributed to COVID-19, giving the county 16 for 2021 and 67 for the course of the pandemic.
New positive tests for COVID-19 have slowed down considerably for Graham County, especially when tests from prisons are not included. On Thursday, the health department reported a reduction of 10 COVID-19 cases from its overall total through reconciliation with the Arizona Department of Health Services. The 10 cases that were taken away ended up being residents of a different county and shouldn’t have been counted in Graham County’s total.
Graham County has now had 5,133 confirmed cases since the start of the pandemic, with 1,733 active cases, 3,333 recovered cases, and 67 deaths. Graham County has the third-lowest overall death count with La Paz County (63) and Greenlee County (6) having less. La Paz County has about half the population of Graham County, and Greenlee has about a quarter of the population. Graham County has also had more than twice as many confirmed cases of COVID-19 than La Paz, yet only four more deaths.
Arizona has been reported as the hotspot of the world for new COVID-19 cases, and Graham County is the third-highest county with the most cases per population. According to the Arizona Department of Health Services’ COVID-19 Data Dashboard, as of Thursday, Graham County was listed as having a percentage of 13,340 cases per 100,000 residents.
Even with the most recent influx of cases in correctional facilities, however, Graham County is still behind Yuma County (15,397 per 100,000), Santa Cruz County (14,062 per 100,000), and Apache County (13,541 per 100,000), and is just in front of Navajo County (13,040 per 100,000) in the rate of transmission per population. Conversely, Greenlee County – where there are no correctional facilities – has the lowest rate in Arizona with 5,089 per 100,000, according to Thursday’s numbers from the ADHS, the state average is 10,735 per 100,000.
Graham County’s demographics of cases include 701 under the age of 20, 2,548 between the ages of 20-44, 778 between the ages of 45-54, 553 between the ages of 55-64, 544 who are 65 years old or older, and nine who are unknown. A mask regulation requiring the wearing of masks expires Thursday at midnight.
Greenlee County added four COVID-19 cases on Wednesday to increase its total to 533, with 401 recovered, 126 active cases, and six deaths.
As of Wednesday, the Greenlee County Health Department has administered 4,668 tests, with 4,135 negative results, and 533 positive results.
On Thursday, the ADHS listed 4,417 new cases to bring its total for the pandemic to 771,796 in Arizona. The department added 176 deaths attributed to COVID-19 on Thursday, to bring the total for Arizona to 13,752 dead attributed to COVID-19.
The breakdown of total cases by county includes Maricopa with 481,291, Pima – 103,448, Pinal – 43,360, Yuma – 35,408, Mohave – 19,880, Yavapai – 16,444, Coconino – 15,419, Navajo – 14,713, Cochise – 10,562, Apache – 9,724, Santa Cruz – 7,476, Gila – 6,121, Graham – 5,133, La Paz – 2,273, and Greenlee – 528 (county lists it at 533).