Graham County’s COVID-19 death total increases by eight

Contributed Photo/Courtesy U.S. Census Bureau

Two new deaths reported and six have been reconciled

By Jon Johnson

GRAHAM COUNTY – On Thursday, the Graham County Department of Health and Human Services announced eight new deaths attributed to COVID-19 have been added to Graham County to increase the total for the pandemic to 109. 

Two of the new deaths occurred in the last three days, while six were reconciled from the past year as now being attributed to COVID-19. According to the Mt. Graham Regional Medical Center, the hospital has averaged nine COVID-19 patients each day for the past two weeks and 93.75 percent of patients hospitalized for COVID-19 since Sept. 1, 2021, have been unvaccinated. 

In addition to the new deaths, the health department also advised of 54 new confirmed COVID-19 cases in the county in the past three days, with most coming from the Safford zip code. On a positive note, vaccination rates appear to be outpacing the new cases, with the Arizona Department of Health Services’ COVID-19 data sheet showing 21 new cases reported in Graham County on Thursday and 29 new doses of vaccine. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control, 53.1 percent of Graham County’s total population is fully vaccinated, with 67.8 percent of adults being fully vaccinated and 99.9 percent of those 65 and older having at least one dose. 

In Graham County, the vast majority of confirmed cases have been those in the 20-44 age group with 3,352 cases, followed by those under the age of 20 with 1,239 cases, those 45-54 with 1,028 cases, those 55-64 with 751 cases, and those 65 and older with 724 cases and four unknown. 

As of Thursday, Graham County has had 7,098 total confirmed cases for the course of the pandemic, with 6,538 recoveries, 451 currently active cases, and 109 deaths. The population for Graham County is estimated at 38,837, so a little more than one-fifth of the county’s population has had a confirmed case of COVID-19. 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

Statewide, there have been 1,111,359 total confirmed cases for the pandemic, with 20,282 deaths as of Thursday, according to the ADHS. The state average is 282 deaths per 100,000 people. Graham County’s death rate for those confirmed to have contracted COVID-19 is just over 1.5 percent, while the state’s average is just over 1.8 percent.

Greenlee County

Earlier this week, Greenlee County surpassed 1,000 total confirmed COVID-19 cases for the course of the pandemic and now sits at 1,012 total cases. 

The Greenlee County Health Department reports 833 recoveries, 164 currently active cases, and 15 deaths.