File Photo By Mythili Gubbi/Cronkite News
December is Graham County’s deadliest month for COVID-19
By Jon Johnson
SAFFORD – The increase in deaths attributed to COVID-19 in Graham County continues with three new reported deaths over the Christmas Holiday to increase the total for the pandemic to 156.
The three new deaths give Graham County 30 deaths in just over a month. The overwhelming majority of deaths have been from elderly people, with 108 being from those 65 years or older; 26 deaths have been those 55-65; 14 deaths have been those 45-54, and seven Graham County residents between 20-44 have had deaths attributed to COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic.
On Monday, the Graham County Department of Health and Human Services listed 42 new confirmed cases over the past five days, to increase its total for the pandemic to 8,936 confirmed cases with 156 deaths. Graham County has 494 currently active cases and 8,286 recoveries. Graham County has a COVID-19 death rate of 1.75 percent per confirmed case. The state average is 1.76 percent.
According to the Arizona Department of Health Services, Graham County has a COVID-19 rate of 23,224 cases per 100,000 population. That is good for the second-worst rate out of any of Arizona’s 15 counties, just behind Navajo County, which has a rate of 23,625 per 100,000 population. Apache County is the third-worst with a rate of 22,379 per 100,000 population.
Greenlee County still has the lowest rate of cases by county in the state with 14,091 per 100,000 population. Greenlee is followed by Cochise County with 15,189 cases per 100,000 population and Yavapai County with 15,444 cases per 100,000 population. The state’s average is 18,955 cases per 100,000 population.
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 ADHS recently put out new data regarding rates of COVID-19 by vaccination status. Click here to go through the data, which states that in October unvaccinated people had nearly a 4 times greater chance of contracting COVID-19 and 15 times greater risk of dying from it.
The Graham County Department of Health and Human Services offers free vaccines from Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson and has booster shots for those 18 and over. Additionally, children 5 and up can receive a COVID-19 vaccine, and adults can have any of the three. The health department provides the vaccine Mondays from 8 a.m. – 12 p.m., Thursdays from 2 – 5 p.m., and the Pfizer vaccine for those 5 and older on Thursdays from 5 – 7:30 p.m. and Fridays from 2 – 5 p.m. Click here to register to receive a vaccine. Vaccines are also available at local pharmacies and, in Greenlee County, at Gila Health Resources.
Winter and Holiday Hours at Copper Mountain Clinic
Copper Mountain Clinic offers drive-up COVID-19 testing with results within 24 hours. The clinic will be open during winter hours on Monday – Friday, from 1 – 5 p.m., and Saturdays from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. The clinic will be closed Dec. 24-27, 2021, and Jan. 1, 2022.