Safford Mayor Jason Kouts in quarantine awaiting COVID-19 test results

Jon Johnson File Photo/Gila Herald: Safford Mayor Jason Kouts is in self-quarantine while awaiting test results for COVID-19.

“I’m a fighter. We’ll get through this.”

Jason Kouts

By Jon Johnson

SAFFORD – Safford Mayor Jason Kouts is in self-quarantine after falling ill and ruling out other ailments. 

Kouts told the Gila Herald that he went into his clinic Saturday with flu-like symptoms and tests for strep and the common flu came back as negative. Kouts was then tested for the novel coronavirus COVID-19. The test was sent out today and the results should be known in three to four days. Both Kouts and his wife, Maria, are in self-quarantine at least until the test results come back. 

On Monday, Jason Kouts said he was experiencing a fever and body aches and a bad headache. 

“I’m a fighter,” Jason Kouts said. “We’ll get through this.”

The first case in Graham County came from a Pima Elementary School staff member last week. A testing clinic is being held for Pima students this week at Pima Junior High School on Monday, Tuesday, and Friday, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. for people who are symptomatic. Those attending the clinic should remain in their vehicles and wait for a staff member to provide instructions.

As of Monday morning, 18 people have tested positive for the virus in Arizona. There have been eight positive tests in Maricopa County, five in Pinal County, four in Pima County, and our one in Graham County.  

As well as being mayor of Safford, Jason Kouts also runs Kouts & Sons Construction. Due to his illness and out of an abundance of caution, Jason Kouts has canceled work inside of homes that are occupied and his crews are only working on new build construction of unoccupied residences. 

Jon Johnson File Photo/Gila Herald: Safford Mayor Jason Kouts and his wife, Maria, march in a parade. They are both in self-quarantine while awaiting COVID-19 test results for Jason.

Jason Kouts said he will be given more information regarding his illness in a few days if his test comes back positive and what he will have to do about it then. In the meantime, he has to just hunker down at his home with his wife and wait. 

Safford Schools to serve weekday meals

With Arizona schools being closed at least until March 27, the Safford School District has halted all athletics (practice and competition), clubs, before and after-school programming and other in-person, school-related activities. 

However, starting March 23, the school will be providing weekday meals to students on the National School Lunch and Breakfast Program. The will be a “grab and go” service. For more information visit

For more information regarding the COVID-19 virus visit   

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