By Jon Johnson
SAFFORD – The Graham County Department of Health and Human Services (GCDHHS) has reported the fifth death of a county resident attributed to COVID-19 in the last week. The new death makes 56 since the start of the pandemic.
On Sunday, the GCDHHS announced the death of a Pima resident between 45-54 that was attributed to COVID-19. It is the second death for the small town in the past week, the first being a resident in the 65 and older age group.
The other deaths for the week include a Thatcher resident in the 65 and older age group, a Safford resident in the 20-44 age group, and one victim whose age group and residency were not released.
The GCDHHS listed 46 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday, with an additional 33 cases on Saturday to give the county 79 new cases for the weekend. A total of 60 cases were from Safford, 10 from the San Carlos Apache Tribe, five from Thatcher, and two each from Pima and Solomon.
The new positive tests pushed Graham County’s total to 4,045, with 2,427 listed as recovered, 1,562 currently active, and 56 deaths. Around 500 currently active cases are from the area’s prisons.
Arizona has been reported as the hotspot of the world for new COVID-19 cases, and Graham County is in the upper third of counties with the most cases per population. According to the Arizona Department of Health Services’ COVID-19 Data Dashboard, Graham County was listed at having a percentage of 10,513 cases per 100,000 residents. Even with the most recent influx of cases in correctional facilities, however, Graham County is still behind Yuma County (13,597 per 100,000), Santa Cruz County (12,548 per 100,000), Apache County (11,480 per 100,000), and Navajo County (11,142 per 100,000) in the rate of transmission per population. Conversely, Greenlee County – where there is no correctional facilities – has the lowest rate in Arizona with 4,463 per 100,000, according to Sunday’s numbers from the ADHS, and the state average is 8,604 per 100,000.
Graham County’s demographics of cases include 618 under the age of 20, 1,938 between the ages of 20-44, 583 between the ages of 45-54, 430 between the ages of 55-64, 467 who are 65 years old or older, and nine who are unknown.
Greenlee County added three new COVID-19 cases on Saturday to increase its total to 464, with 288 recovered, 172 active cases, and four deaths.
Greenlee County has had two COVID-19 deaths from the Duncan area and two from the Clifton area. The most recent COVID-19 death was in a resident from the Clifton area.
As of Saturday, the Greenlee County Health Department has administered 4,039 tests, with 3,575 negative results, and 464 positive results.
On Sunday, the ADHS listed 11,201 new cases to bring its total for the pandemic to 618,546 in Arizona. The department also listed 105 new deaths on Sunday, to bring the total for Arizona to 10,141 dead attributed to COVID-19.
The breakdown of total cases by county includes Maricopa with 382,409, Pima – 82,197, Pinal – 33,154, Yuma – 31,268, Mohave – 15,346, Yavapai – 13,565, Coconino – 12,836, Navajo – 12,572, Cochise – 8,856, Apache – 8,244, Santa Cruz – 6,671, Gila – 5,060, Graham – 4,045, La Paz – 1,860, and Greenlee – 463 (county lists it at 464).