Graham County sees two new COVID-19 deaths, 150 new cases in the past week

Photo By Jacqueline Marshall/Wyoming National Guard

By Jon Johnson

jonjohnsonnews@gmail.com

SAFFORD – The Graham County Department of Health and Human Services has announced two new deaths attributed to COVID-19, bringing the county’s total for the pandemic to 121. 

For the course of the pandemic, Graham County has had 7,937 confirmed cases, with 7,151 recoveries, 665 currently active cases, and 121 deaths. Those numbers give Graham County a virus death rate of 1.52 percent for the county’s confirmed cases. That is slightly better than the state average of 1.8 percent.

There are seven Arizona counties with a higher COVID-19 death rate than Graham, they include Gila, Santa Cruz, Yuma, La Paz, Mohave, Navajo, and the county with the worst rate at nearly 3.4 percent, Apache. 

The majority of cases in Graham County continue to be from the 20-44 age group with 3,701, followed by those under 20 with 1,423 cases, those aged 45-54 with 1,118 cases, those aged 55-64 with 843 cases, those 65 and older with 824 cases, and 28 unknown.

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.

According to the Mt. Graham Regional Medical Center (MGRMC), as of Nov. 4, it has seen an average of 12 new patients per day hospitalized for COVID-19 over the past two weeks, and that 93.1 percent of all COVID-19 hospitalizations since Sept. 1 have been patients who are unvaccinated.  

The Graham County Department of Health and Human Services offers free vaccines from Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson. Now, children 5 and up can receive a COVID-19 vaccine, and adults can have any of the three. The department is now also offering booster shots for those over the age of 65, immunocompromised population 18 and older, and those in high-exposure jobs who are 18 and older. 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.  

While perhaps a little late to adopt, Graham County has seen its vaccination rate increase as of late and the number of vaccine doses given continues to outpace the number of new cases. On Tuesday, the health department reported two new cases versus 158 doses of vaccine given for the previous day.  

According to the Centers for Disease Control, Graham County has an overall vaccination rate of 66.9 percent of the previously “eligible population.” However, vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna are now approved for youth as young as 5 years old and are available in Graham County. 

According to the CDC, 78.8 percent of the adult population of Graham County has had at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, with 70 percent being fully vaccinated. The same chart lists residents who are 65 and older with 99.9 percent having at least one dose and 95 percent being fully vaccinated.

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