Graham tops 1,100 COVID-19 cases, Greenlee hits 100

By Jon Johnson

SAFFORD – COVID-19 cases continue to rise by daily double digits in Graham County, and Greenlee County just reported reaching 100 total cases.

On Friday, the Graham County Department of Health and Human Services reported 22 new positive results for COVID-19 in Graham County out of 72 tests.

The new results lifted Graham County’s total to 1,105 for the course of the pandemic.

As of Friday, the GCDHHS reported 1,105 total confirmed cases, with 774 recovered and 304 actives. According to GCDHHS criteria, a positive test is not considered a recovered patient until they have 30 days symptom-free. Graham County has about 39,000 residents. Nearly 3 percent of Graham County has tested positive for COVID-19, with the currently active number at a little under 1 percent.

Today’s new positive tests include 12 from the San Carlos Apache Tribe, five from Safford, four from Pima, and one from Thatcher.

A total of 27 people, mostly all over the age of 65 and who had pre-existing health conditions, have died with COVID-19 in Graham County. 

According to the state’s database, Graham County’s positive test cases include 243 who are under 20 years of age, 474 between 20-44, 124 between 45-54, 102 between 55-64, 161 who are 65 years old or older, and one unknown.

As of Friday, the ADHS continues to list Graham County in its “moderate” business reopening status, even though the county is in the “substantial transmission” zone in both cases per 100,000 individuals, and percent positivity, for both the week of Sept. 27 and Oct. 4. ADHS metrics are roughly two weeks behind current results. The metrics show Graham County had 146 cases per 100,000 for the week of Sept. 27 and 140 cases per 100,000 for the week of Oct. 4, both over the 100 thresholds to enter the substantial zone. The percent positivity for those two weeks was listed at 12.5 percent and 14.6 percent, respectively, both over the 10 percent threshold to enter the substantial zone.

Greenlee County

The Greenlee County Health Department reported an increase of six new positive tests on Wednesday night, raising its total to 100.

As of Thursday, the health department has administered tests to 1,522 people, with 1,422 being negative, and 100 positives. The county has 38 active cases, 60 recovered cases, and two deaths. Greenlee County has about 10,000 residents.

The breakdown of the Greenlee cases currently listed on the ADHS’ data dashboard includes 12 under the age of 20, 51 between 20-44, 21 between 45-54, 12 between 55-64, and four who are 65 years old or older.

Greenlee County’s percent positivity skyrocketed from 0 percent to 17.6 percent for the week of Oct. 4, putting that metric into the substantial zone. Its cases per 100,000 individuals also raised from 10 for the week of Sept. 27 to 39 for the week of Oct. 4, putting it into the moderate zone. However, Greenlee County is still in the “minimal transmission” status for business reopening, according to ADHS.  

Raymundo Frasquillo File Photo/Gila Herald: Volunteers hand out masks at an event in Morenci. The Greenlee County BOS recently extended the county’s mask mandate to continue into December.

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 Thursday, the San Carlos Apache Tribe Department of Health & Human Services reported 21 new cases. To date, the Tribe has administered tests to 10,312 people with 8,589 negatives, 1,549 positives, and 174 results pending.

The Tribe lists 211 currently active cases, with 1,321 recovered cases, and 17 deaths.

The area breakdown on the reservation includes Gilson Wash – 270 positive, 212 recovered, 53 active, five deaths; Peridot – 534 positive, 432 recovered, 93 active, nine deaths; 7-Mile – 322 positive, 285 recovered, 35 active, two deaths; Bylas – 336 positive, 311 recovered, 24 active, one death; other areas – 87 positive, 81 recovered, six active.   


For the state, the Arizona Department of Health Services reported 975 new cases Friday to bring the total to 235,882 for the state. It reported just six new deaths to bring the total fatalities due, at least in part, to COVID-19 to and amended 5,865 in Arizona. The state has about 7.3 million residents and nearly two million tests have been taken.  

Reported positive cases in the various counties include Maricopa County with 152,695, Pima County – 27,297, Yuma County – 13,442, Pinal County – 11,638, Navajo County – 6,238, Coconino County – 4,925, Mohave County – 4,244, Apache County – 3,826, Santa Cruz County – 2,968, Yavapai County – 2,864, Cochise County – 2,098, Gila County – 1,830, Graham County – 1,105, La Paz County – 611, Greenlee County – 100.

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