Greenlee County reports fifth positive COVID-19 test

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: Morenci resident Daniel Luna allows Amanda Gray to show him how to adjust the fabric mask.

By Jon Johnson

CLIFTON – On Friday night, the Greenlee County Health Department released a statement advising of the county’s fifth positive COVID-19 test.

Greenlee County’s initial two positive tests were familial and have both made a full recovery. The initial case was attributed to being travel-related and then, just as the first case was deemed fully recovered, the virus was found in a family member April 10.  

The county then went more than a month until it registered its third positive test on May 18. That case was also deemed as being travel-related.

On Wednesday, May 27, the county reported its fourth case; also deemed as travel-related.

Now, on Friday, May 29, a fifth positive case was registered but is believed to have been caused by community spread related to “a cluster in a neighboring county.”

While the release does not specifically say Graham County, Graham County has recently had a new cluster to bring its total cases to 28, with two deaths.

Most have made a full recovery in Graham County, however, and – as in most of the state – the fatalities have occurred in elderly patients who had pre-existing underlying health conditions. The two fatalities occurred in a patient in their 70s and one in their 90s.

Even with the new positives, Greenlee County remains the county with the lowest number, by far, followed by Graham County with 28 and Gila County with 30. The next-lowest county is the thinly-populated Mohave County with 70 and Cochise County with 72. The numbers spike into three digits for the next five counties and then into 1,000 or more for the remaining five counties, with the most-populous Maricopa County leading the way with 9,522, followed by Pima County with 2,290.

General things that everyone should do to prevent the spread of all respiratory illnesses include:

●  Wear a cloth mask according to CDC guidelines when in community areas

●  Practice social distancing

●  Avoid close contact with people who are sick

●  Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth

●  Stay home when you are sick

●  Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash

●  Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular EPA registered household cleaning spray or wipes

●  Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer

What you need to know about COVID-19:

●  COVID-19 causes a wide range of symptoms including fever, cough, and difficulty breathing

●  Most people (about 80%) develop only mild symptoms, particularly children

●  Like influenza, those most likely to develop severe disease are people older than 60 years and those with other medical conditions like heart or lung disease

●  The virus is spread person-to-person via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes

●  People who are most at risk of becoming infected are those who have prolonged, close contact with a person who is infected with COVID-19 and is symptomatic

Additional information may be obtained at:
Greenlee County Health Department at (928) 865-2601

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