15 deaths in just more than two weeks
By Jon Johnson
SAFFORD – The increase in deaths attributed to COVID-19 in Graham County continues with two new reported deaths on Thursday to increase the total for the pandemic to 141.
The two new deaths were listed on the Arizona Department of Health Services Data Dashboard and gives Graham County 15 deaths in the past 16 days.
The dashboard also listed 25 new confirmed cases on Thursday, to increase its total for the pandemic to 8,724 confirmed cases with 141 deaths. Graham County has 797 currently active cases and 7,786 recoveries. Graham County has a COVID-19 death rate of 1.62 percent per confirmed case. The state average is 1.75 percent.
The biggest age group affected has been those 20-44 with 4,012 cases, followed by those under 20 with 1,559 cases, those 45-54 with 1,234 cases, those 65 and older with 944 cases, those 55-64 with 940 cases, and 35 unknown.
According to the Arizona Department of Health Services, Graham County has a COVID-19 rate of 22,674 per 100,000 population. That is good for the worst rate out of any of Arizona’s 15 counties, with the next closest being Navajo County with a rate of 22,516 per 100,000 population and Apache County with a rate of 21,763 per 100,000 population.
Even with a recent uptick in cases, Greenlee County still has the lowest rate of cases by county in the state with 13,581 per 100,000 population. Greenlee is followed by Cochise County with 14,427 cases per 100,000 population and Yavapai County with 14,655 cases per 100,000 population. The state’s average is 18,156 cases per 100,000 population.
While some cases are asymptomatic or improve within a week or two, other cases have lingered with mild to severe effects for months and even more than a year, while it proves fatal to others. While those who have already had the virus and survived likely have natural antibodies to fight the virus from quickly returning, for those who have not had the virus the best way to avoid catching it is to be vaccinated.
The ADHS recently put out new data regarding rates of COVID-19 by vaccination status. Click here to go through the data, which states that in October unvaccinated people had nearly a 4 times greater chance of contracting COVID-19 and 15 times greater risk of dying from it.
The Graham County Department of Health and Human Services offers free vaccines from Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson and has booster shots for those 18 and over. Additionally, children 5 and up can receive a COVID-19 vaccine, and adults can have any of the three. The health department provides the vaccine Mondays from 8 a.m. – 12 p.m., Thursdays from 2 – 5 p.m., and the Pfizer vaccine for those 5 and older on Thursdays from 5 – 7:30 p.m. and Fridays from 2 – 5 p.m. Click here to register to receive a vaccine.