Only two pending COVID-19 tests for Graham County

Photo Courtesy of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s laboratory test kit for COVID-19 has been distributed throughout Arizona, but Graham County has purchased 3,500 rapid test kits from a private company that is expected to arrive within the next two weeks. The rapid tests were purchased utilizing a $65,000 grant from the United Way of Graham and Greenlee Counties.

Faster testing kits ordered

By Jon Johnson

GRAHAM COUNTY – As the positive tests for the novel coronavirus COVID-19 continue to increase throughout the state, Graham and Greenlee counties’ numbers have remained stagnant. Graham County hasn’t seen a new positive test in more than two weeks.

Graham County’s previous two patients who tested positive have made a full recovery and the time when they were infected was nearly a month ago. 

Despite online chatter, both Graham County and Greenlee County are administering tests to those who show symptoms of COVID-19, according to county representatives. 

A release from the Graham County Department of Health and Human Services stated that 102 COVID-19 tests have been administered to patients in Graham County with just the two original positive results and two that are pending as of Monday, April 6. The Arizona State Health Department (ASHD) lists the total number of tests in Graham County as of Monday at 113. 

For Greenlee County, 41 tests have been administered as of Sunday, April 5, with the one single positive result and three pending. The ASHD lists the total number of tests in Greenlee County as of Monday at 42. 

Overall, through private laboratories and the Arizona State Public Health Laboratory, Arizona has administered 32,534 tests as of Monday, according to the ASHD.    

While testing has been limited to those showing symptoms and, due to a glut of tests at the state, results have taken four or five days to obtain, that could change locally in the next couple of weeks. Graham County is waiting on delivery of 3,500 rapid COVID-19 test kits it ordered after receiving a $65,000 grant from the United Way of Graham and Greenlee Counties. According to Graham County Health Director Brian Douglas, the rapid test kits utilize a blood test to analyze antibodies and gives a result in 15 to 20 minutes with an accuracy rate of about 89 percent.

“For a rapid test kit, that’s considered pretty good,” Douglas said.  

The kits were ordered last week and the county is just waiting to receive a delivery date. Douglas said the company has the kits on hand and that he hopes to get delivery around the fourth week of April.   

As of Monday morning, the Arizona State Health Department is reporting a total of 2,456 positive tests in Arizona since the start of the pandemic, with 65 deaths. 

Maricopa County listed the most cases with 1,433, followed by Pima County – 415, Navajo County – 210, Coconino County – 163, Pinal County – 106, Yavapai County – 49, Apache County – 25, Mohave County – 20, Yuma County – 13, Cochise County – 9, Santa Cruz County – 4, La Paz County – 3, Gila County – 3, Graham County – 2, and Greenlee County – 1.