Most new cases are from prisons
By Jon Johnson
SAFFORD – On Thursday, the Graham County Department of Health and Human Services (GCDHHS) announced the deaths of a Safford resident and a Thatcher resident that were attributed to COVID-19. The new deaths put Graham County’s total for the pandemic at 60.
Both residents were over the age of 65. No more information regarding the deaths was immediately released.
The GCDHHS also announced 228 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, with 222 of them coming from the Safford zip code. The department also announced, however, that cases from the local prisons continue to contribute to Safford’s total and that most of the new cases for Safford were indeed from prisons. The other new cases include three each from both the Pima and Thatcher zip codes. The Pima zip code includes Bylas.
According to the Arizona Department of Corrections, Recovery, and Release, its Safford state prisons have 406 confirmed cases of COVID-19 from its inmates with 307 inmates listed as being recovered. According to the Bureau of Prisons, FCI-Safford currently has 13 active cases from its inmates, with 616 recovered. It also lists 10 active cases from employees and 22 recovered.
The new positive tests pushed Graham County’s total to 4,721, with 2,744 listed as recovered, 1,917 currently active, and 60 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 Thursday, Graham County was listed as having a percentage of 12,270 cases per 100,000 residents. Even with the most recent influx of cases in correctional facilities, however, Graham County is still behind Yuma County (14,658 per 100,000), and Santa Cruz County (13,447 per 100,000), and is just in front of Apache County (12,215 per 100,000), and Navajo County (12,145 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 4,800 per 100,000, according to Sunday’s numbers from the ADHS, and the state average is 9,736 per 100,000.
Graham County’s demographics of cases include 670 under the age of 20, 2,305 between the ages of 20-44, 719 between the ages of 45-54, 510 between the ages of 55-64, 508 who are 65 years old or older, and nine who are unknown. The state, Graham, and Greenlee counties are all in the “substantial” status for all three metrics on both the business dashboard and schools dashboard.
Greenlee County added two new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday to increase its total to 502, with 371 recovered, 125 active cases, and six deaths.
As of Wednesday, the Greenlee County Health Department has administered 4,379 tests, with 3,877 negative results, and 502 positive results.
On Thursday, the ADHS listed 9,398 new cases to bring its total for the pandemic to 699,942 in Arizona. The department also listed 244 new deaths on Thursday, to bring the total for Arizona to 11,772 dead attributed to COVID-19.
The breakdown of total cases by county includes Maricopa with 434,337, Pima – 93,839, Pinal – 38,477, Yuma – 33,707, Mohave – 17,586, Yavapai – 15,248, Coconino – 14,362, Navajo – 13,703, Cochise – 9,883, Apache – 8,772, Santa Cruz – 7,149, Gila – 5,572, Graham – 4,721, La Paz – 2,087, and Greenlee – 498 (county lists it at 502).