State prisons still attributing to Safford COVID-19 numbers

By Jon Johnson

SAFFORD – The local facilities for the Arizona State Prison Complex-Safford are still adding to the number of COVID-19 positive tests for the Safford zip code. 

The Graham County Department of Health and Human Services announced 76 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, with 65 of them coming from the Safford zip code. However, 41 of the 65 cases were from area correctional facilities, according to the GCDHHS.  

The remaining cases include 10 from the Thatcher zip code and one from the Pima zip code (which includes Bylas and nearby areas). 

According to the Arizona Department of Corrections, Rehabilitation, and Reentry, its Safford state prisons have 406 confirmed cases of COVID-19 from its inmates with 307 inmates recovered. According to the Bureau of Prisons, FCI-Safford currently had 13 active cases from its inmates, with 616 recovered as of Wednesday. It also lists 10 active cases from employees and 22 recovered.

The new positive tests pushed Graham County’s total to 4,493, with at 2,723 listed as recovered, and 58 deaths. 

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 as having a percentage of 11,677 cases per 100,000 residents. Even with the most recent influx of cases in correctional facilities, however, Graham County is still behind Yuma County (14,597 per 100,000),  Santa Cruz County (13,419 per 100,000), Apache County (12,153 per 100,000), and Navajo County (12,075 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 4,771 per 100,000, according to Thursday’s numbers from the ADHS, and the state average is 9,605 per 100,000. 

Graham County’s demographics of cases include 669 under the age of 20, 2,165 between the ages of 20-44, 663 between the ages of 45-54, 482 between the ages of 55-64, 505 who are 65 years old or older, and nine who are unknown. 

Greenlee County reaches 500 cases

Greenlee County added two COVID-19 cases on Tuesday to increase its total to 500, with 371 recovered, 123 active cases, and six deaths. 

As of Wednesday, the Greenlee County Health Department has administered 4,340 tests, with 3,840 negative results, and 500 positive results.


On Wednesday, the ADHS listed 4,845 new cases to bring its total for the pandemic to 690,544 in Arizona. The department added 262 deaths attributed to COVID-19 on Wednesday, to bring the total for Arizona to 11,528 dead attributed to COVID-19. 

The breakdown of total cases by county includes Maricopa with 428,624, Pima – 92,519, Pinal – 37,762, Yuma – 33,567, Mohave – 16,979, Yavapai – 15,106, Coconino – 14,224, Navajo – 13,624, Cochise – 9,750, Apache – 8,727, Santa Cruz – 7,134, Gila – 5,474, Graham – 4,493, La Paz – 2,066, and Greenlee – 495 (county lists it at 500).