Safford adds another COVID-19 death to its total

Jon Johnson File Photo/Gila Herald: Health professionals recommend wearing a mask while in public.

State adds more than 10,000 positive tests Tuesday after the holiday weekend

By Jon Johnson

SAFFORD – Another Safford resident has lost their life with the death contributed to COVID-19. The resident was over the age of 65. No further information about them was released.

The Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) added a daily record of 10,322 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday after the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. ADHS officials advised the higher than usual number (more than double previous daily highs) was due to late reporting from counties due to the holiday.   

The Graham County Department of Health and Human Services announced 27 new positive tests on Tuesday to push the county’s total for the pandemic to 2,242.

The breakdown for the new positive tests includes 17 from Safford, five from the San Carlos Apache Tribe, three from Thatcher, and two from Pima.

After having its biggest increase of cases in one month in October (408), Graham County has easily surpassed that mark with 968 new positive tests in November.

As of Tuesday, Graham County had 2,242 total confirmed cases, with 1,211 recovered, 995 actives, and 36 deaths. 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. A total of 5.7 percent of Graham County has tested positive for COVID-19, with the currently active number at 2.5 percent.

A total of 36 people, nearly all over the age of 65 and who had pre-existing health conditions, have died with COVID-19 in Graham County. About 1.6 percent of those who have tested positive for the virus in Graham County have died after contracting it. There were 16 patients hospitalized for COVID-19 at the Mt. Graham Regional Medical Center as of Monday.

According to the state’s database, Graham County’s positive test cases include 479 who are under 20 years of age, 963 between 20-44, 256 between 45-54, 237 between 55-64, 303 who are 65 years old or older, and four unknown.

The ever-increasing positive tests have moved the Graham County Board of Supervisors to issue a mask mandate while in public for Graham County. The regulation includes all parts of incorporated (towns and cities) and unincorporated Graham County.  

Greenlee County

The Greenlee County Health Department listed 12 new positive tests on Monday to raise its total for the pandemic to 246.

The health department has administered tests to 2,656 people as of Monday, with 2,410 being negative, and 246 positives, according to the department. The county has 126 active cases, 117 recovered cases, and three deaths. Greenlee County has about 10,000 residents.

The breakdown of the Greenlee cases currently listed on the ADHS’ data dashboard (which only shows 228 positives currently) includes 42 under the age of 20, 113 between 20-44, 37 between 45-54, 30 between 55-64, and 17 who are 65 years old or older.

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.

Terry Rambler Photo/Facebook: San Carlos Apache Tribe Chairman Terry Rambler sports a UofA facemask and encourages others to follow his example.

On Friday, Nov. 20, the San Carlos Council issued a two-week stay-at-home mandate effective Nov. 21 – Dec. 5, with Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays designated as essential days. The mandate makes and does not include essential trips to secure food, medical supplies, essential employees, school-related requirements, the post office, planning or attending funerals with a crowd size less than 10, deliveries, construction or repair workers, or those with valid permits for camping, hunting, or fishing.

On Tuesday, the San Carlos Apache Tribe Department of Health & Human Services reported 34 new cases. To date, the Tribe has administered 15,049 tests with 12,084 negatives, 2,838 positives, and 127 results pending.

The Tribe lists 206 currently active cases, with 2,600 recovered cases, and 32 deaths.

The area breakdown on the reservation includes Gilson Wash – 479 positive, 444 recovered, 23 active, 12 deaths; Peridot – 944 positive, 851 recovered, 80 active, 13 deaths; 7-Mile – 575 positive, 519 recovered, 50 active, six deaths; Bylas – 662 positive, 627 recovered, 34 active, one death; other areas – 178 positive, 159 recovered, 19 active.   


For the state, the Arizona Department of Health Services reported 10,322 new cases Tuesday to bring the total to 337,139 for the state. It reported 48 new deaths to increase the total fatalities due, at least in part, to COVID-19 to and amended 6,687 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 213,121, Pima County – 40,803, Yuma County – 18,352, Pinal County – 17,124, Navajo County – 8,283, Coconino County – 7,575, Mohave County – 6,477, Apache County – 5,492, Yavapai County – 5,666, Santa Cruz County – 4,025, Cochise County – 3,781, Gila County – 3,076, Graham County – 2,242, La Paz County – 883, Greenlee County – 239 (county lists 246).

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