Graham County reports two new COVID-19 deaths but hospitalizations, active cases reducing

Graham lists 113 total deaths with 399 active cases

By Jon Johnson

SAFFORD – On Thursday, the Graham County Department of Health and Human Services reported an additional two deaths attributed to COVID-19 to bring the county’s total for the pandemic to 113. However, the county and Mt. Graham Regional Medical Center have reported that active cases and hospitalizations have reduced in the last couple of weeks. 

In the first part of September, MGRMC was averaging 14 COVID-19 patients hospitalized each day. As of Oct. 13, roughly one month later, the daily average of new COVID-19 hospitalizations for the previous two weeks has been halved to seven. The hospital also advises that 94.66 percent of those hospitalized COVID-19 cases since Sept. 1, 2021, have been unvaccinated against the virus. 

The health department reported 54 new confirmed cases in the past two days, with about 32 coming from the Safford zip code, 12 from the Thatcher zip code, six unknown, and four from the Pima/Bylas zip code. 

The new confirmed cases give Graham County 7,229 for the course of the pandemic, with 6,717 recoveries, 399 currently active cases, and 113 deaths. That gives Graham County a virus death rate of 1.56 percent of those confirmed cases. Conversely, the state has a virus death rate of 1.81 percent of confirmed cases, while Greenlee County is at 1.53 percent.  

For the course of the pandemic, those ages 20-44 have the most cases in Graham County with 3,408, followed by those under the age of 20 with 1,270, those 45-54 with 1,040, those 55-64 with 758, those 65 and older with 729, and 24 unknown. 

For Greenlee County, the Greenlee County Health Department most recently reported 1,047 total confirmed cases for the course of the pandemic, with 833 recoveries, 198 currently active cases, and 16 deaths. 

While some cases are asymptomatic or improve within a week or two, other cases have lingered with mild to severe effects for months and even more than a year, while it proves fatal to others. While those who have already had the virus and survived likely have natural antibodies to fight the virus from quickly returning, for those who have not had the virus the best way to avoid catching it is to be vaccinated. 

The Graham County Department of Health and Human Services offers free vaccines from Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson. Children 12 and up can receive the Pfizer vaccine, and adults can have any of the three. The health department provides the vaccine Mondays-Wednesdays from 8 a.m. – 12 p.m., Thursdays from 2 – 5 p.m., and the Pfizer vaccine on Thursdays and Fridays from 5 – 7:30 p.m. Click here to register to receive a vaccine.  

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Graham County has a total vaccination rate of 65.2 percent of residents ages 12 and up, with 74.4 percent of that population having at least one dose, and 99.9 percent of those 65 and older have at least one dose. Greenlee County has just 45.8 percent of its residents ages 12 and up fully vaccinated, with 52.9 percent having at least one dose, and 73.7 percent of those 65 and older have at least one dose. 

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