Graham County surpasses La Paz County for positive COVID-19 tests

Twenty seven new positive tests put county at 492 total

By Jon Johnson

SAFFORD – On Friday, Graham County had the dubious achievement of surpassing La Paz County for the total number of positive COVID-19 tests.    

The county added 27 new cases Friday to now total 492, according to the Graham County Department of Health and Human Services (GCDHHS). Graham County added nearly 400 cases in July alone to overtake La Paz County, which has 472 positive tests, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS). According to the ADHS numbers, Graham County has only 478 cases, but Graham County Health Department Director Brian Douglas advised that the state had taken 14 cases from the San Carlos Apache Tribe away from Graham County several days ago and that the cases will show back up for Graham County on the state’s data dashboard by Tuesday and the correct current number is 492. Greenlee County has the least number of positive test cases out of any county in the state at just 55.

According to the state’s database, Graham County’s positive test cases include 80 who are under 20 years of age, 198 between 20-44, 58 between 45-54, 51 between 55-64, and 91 who are 65 years old or older.

To date, the county has administered tests to 2,790 people with a total of 492 positives. The county lists 375 currently active cases, with 108 recovered cases, and nine deaths. According to GCDHHS criteria, a positive test is not considered a recovered patient until they have 30 days symptom-free. As of Saturday, the Mt. Graham Regional Medical Center is reporting four patients hospitalized with COVID-19. Graham County has about 39,000 residents.

Greenlee County

The Greenlee County Health Department has administered tests to 912 people, with 763 being negative, 55 positives, and 94 results pending. The county lists 31 active cases, 22 recovered cases, and two deaths. Greenlee County has about 10,000 residents.

The breakdown of the Greenlee cases includes two under the age of 20, 33 between 20-44, nine between 45-54, seven between 55-64, and four 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 Saturday, the San Carlos Apache Tribe Department of Health & Human Services reported five new positive tests for the reservation.

To date, the Tribe has administered tests to 4,269 people with 3,516 negative, 480 positives, and 273 results pending.

The Tribe lists 155 currently active cases, with 322 recovered cases, and three deaths.

The area breakdown on the reservation includes Gilson Wash – 75 positive, 46 recovered, 28 active, one death; Peridot – 179 positive, 116 recovered, 61 active, two deaths; 7-Mile – 79  positive, 64 recovered, 15 active; Bylas – 110 positive, 70 recovered, 40 active; other areas – 37 positive, 26 recovered, 11 active.   


For the state, the Arizona Department of Health Services reported 2,992 new cases Saturday to bring the total to 177,002 for the state. It added 53 new deaths Saturday to bring the total fatalities due to COVID-19 to 3,747 in Arizona. The state has about 7.3 million residents.  

Reported positive cases in the various counties include Maricopa County with 119,295, Pima County – 16,475, Yuma County – 11,078, Pinal County – 8,153, Navajo County – 5,255, Apache County – 3,054, Coconino County – 2,964, Mohave County – 2,990, Santa Cruz County – 2,610, Yavapai County – 1,778, Cochise County – 1,523, Gila County – 822, Graham County – 478 (actual number is 492), La Paz County – 472, and Greenlee County – 55.

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