By Jon Johnson
SAFFORD – The Graham County Department of Health and Human Services announced the death of a Safford resident in the 20-44 age group attributed to COVID-19. No other details were made available.
Graham County also registered 14 deaths in January attributed to COVID-19, giving the county 15 for 2021 and 66 for the course of the pandemic.
New positive tests for COVID-19 have slowed down considerably for Graham County, especially when tests from prisons are not included. On Tuesday, the health department reported just two new cases, both in the Safford zip code. Graham County has now had 5,128 confirmed cases since the start of the pandemic, with 1,831 active cases, 3,231 recovered cases, and 66 deaths. Graham County has the third-lowest overall death count with La Paz County (62) and Greenlee County (6) having less. La Paz County has about half the population of Graham County, and Greenlee has about a quarter of the population. Graham County has also had more than twice as many confirmed cases of COVID-19 than La Paz, yet only four more deaths.
Arizona has been reported as the hotspot of the world for new COVID-19 cases, and Graham County is the third-highest county with the most cases per population. According to the Arizona Department of Health Services’ COVID-19 Data Dashboard, as of Tuesday, Graham County was listed as having a percentage of 13,327 cases per 100,000 residents. Even with the most recent influx of cases in correctional facilities, however, Graham County is still behind Yuma County (15,338 per 100,000), Santa Cruz County (14,014 per 100,000), and Apache County (13,428 per 100,000), and is just in front of Navajo County (12,937 per 100,000) in the rate of transmission per population. Conversely, Greenlee County – where there are no correctional facilities – has the lowest rate in Arizona with 5,069 per 100,000, according to Sunday’s numbers from the ADHS, and the state average is 10,642 per 100,000.
Graham County’s demographics of cases include 703 under the age of 20, 2,543 between the ages of 20-44, 774 between the ages of 45-54, 552 between the ages of 55-64, 547 who are 65 years old or older, and nine who are unknown.
Greenlee County added three COVID-19 cases on Monday to increase its total to 529, with 401 recovered, 122 active cases, and six deaths.
As of Monday, the Greenlee County Health Department has administered 4,628 tests, with 4,099 negative results, and 529 positive results.
On Tuesday, the ADHS listed 2,938 new cases to bring its total for the pandemic to 765,083 in Arizona. The department added 238 deaths attributed to COVID-19 on Tuesday, to bring the total for Arizona to 13,362 dead attributed to COVID-19.
The breakdown of total cases by county includes Maricopa with 477,026, Pima – 102,320, Pinal – 42,930, Yuma – 35,271, Mohave – 19,717, Yavapai – 16,385, Coconino – 15,313, Navajo – 14,597, Cochise – 10,484, Apache – 9,643, Santa Cruz – 7,450, Gila – 6,036, Graham – 5,128, La Paz – 2,256, and Greenlee – 526 (county lists it at 529).