Graham County reports first death due to COVID-19

Health Department also advises of two new positive tests to bring total to 25

By Jon Johnson

jonjohnsonnews@gmail.com

SAFFORD – As restrictions ease throughout the state, Graham County has now reported its first death related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Graham County Health Department released the news Tuesday, regarding the death of a patient in their 70s who died from the virus. The patient also had underlying health conditions.

“We extend our deepest sympathy to family and friends,” said Graham County Health Department Director Brian Douglas in the release. “To protect the family’s privacy during this difficult time, no further information regarding this investigation will be released.”

The Health Department also listed two new positive cases on Tuesday; one from a patient who lives in Safford and one who lives in Pima. The new cases are related to the new local cluster and all known close contacts have been notified and have been placed on quarantine until cleared by the Health Department.

Due to one previous case being reconciled by the Arizona Department of Health Services from Graham County and instead attributed to Maricopa County, Graham County has now had officially 25 total positive tests for COVID-19 during the course of the pandemic, with four current active positive-test cases. Twenty of the total number of positive tests have made a full recovery.

In total, Graham County has tested 511 people, with nine tests currently pending. The positive cases include five under the age of 20, 11 between the ages of 35 – 55, and nine who are 65-years-old or older.

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 https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.

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