Graham County reports record of 75 new COVID-19 cases in one day; new death also reported

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: Volunteers hand out masks at an event in Morenci. Graham County is considering a mask mandate akin to the one done in Greenlee County.

County now lists more than 2,000 total cases

By Jon Johnson

SAFFORD – The Graham County Department of Health and Human Services announced a record of 75 new positive tests in Graham County on Tuesday to push the total for the pandemic to 2,008. The county also listed an additional death, to bring that total to 34 for the course of the pandemic to date.  

The breakdown for where the new positive tests come from was not immediately available. The death was a Thatcher resident between the ages of 45-54.  

After having its biggest increase of cases in one month in October (408), Graham County has now surpassed that mark with 774 new positive tests in the first 24 days of November.

As of Tuesday, the Graham County Department of Health and Human Services reported 2,008 total confirmed cases, with 1,101 recovered and 873 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. A total of 5.1 percent of Graham County has tested positive for COVID-19, with the currently active number at 2.2 percent.

A total of 34 people, nearly all over the age of 65 and who had pre-existing health conditions, have died with COVID-19 in Graham County. About 1.7 percent of those who have tested positive for the virus in Graham County have died after contracting it. There were 17 patients hospitalized for COVID-19 at the Mt. Graham Regional Medical Center on Friday.

According to the state’s database, Graham County’s positive test cases include 430 who are under 20 years of age, 853 between 20-44, 232 between 45-54, 215 between 55-64, and 274 who are 65 years old or older.

The ever-increasing positive tests have moved the health department, town councils, and the Graham County Chamber of Commerce to request the Graham County Board of Supervisors issue a mask mandate while in public for Graham County.

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

Greenlee County

The Greenlee County Health Department listed five new positive tests on Monday to raise its total for the pandemic to 189.

The health department has administered tests to 2,346 people as of Monday, with 2,157 being negative, and 189 positives, according to the department. The county has 75 active cases, 112 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 187 positives currently) includes 23 under the age of 20, 94 between 20-44, 33 between 45-54, 23 between 55-64, and 14 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 Friday, Nov. 20, the San Carlos Council issued a two-week stay-at-home mandate effective Nov. 21 – Dec. 5, with Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays designated as essential days. The mandate makes an exception for Wednesday, Nov. 25, and dose not include essential trips to secure food, medical supplies, essential employees, school-related requirements, the post office, planning or attending funerals with a crowd size less than 10, deliveries, construction or repair workers, or those with valid permits for camping, hunting, or fishing.

On Tuesday, the San Carlos Apache Tribe Department of Health & Human Services reported 36 new cases and listed four new deaths since Friday. To date, the Tribe has administered 14,384 tests with 11,612 negatives, 2,624 positives, and 148 results pending.

The Tribe lists 309 currently active cases, with 2,283 recovered cases, and 32 deaths.

The area breakdown on the reservation includes Gilson Wash – 448 positive, 386 recovered, 50 active, 12 deaths; Peridot – 855 positive, 736 recovered, 106 active, 13 deaths; 7-Mile – 527 positive, 462 recovered, 59 active, six deaths; Bylas – 628 positive, 564 recovered, 63 active, one death; other areas – 166 positive, 135 recovered, 31 active.   


For the state, the Arizona Department of Health Services reported 4,544 new cases Tuesday to bring the total to 306,868 for the state. It reported 51 new deaths to increase the total fatalities due, at least in part, to COVID-19 to and amended 6,515 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 194,410, Pima County – 36,986, Yuma County – 16,932, Pinal County – 15,613, Navajo County – 7,756, Coconino County – 7,114, Mohave County – 5,808, Apache County – 5,036, Yavapai County – 4,638, Santa Cruz County – 3,664, Cochise County – 3,272, Gila County – 2,689, Graham County – 2,008, La Paz County – 755, Greenlee County – 187 (county lists 189).

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