Two more Safford COVID-19 deaths push county’s total to 19 for pandemic

Fifteen new positive tests doubles the amount for the week to date

By Jon Johnson

SAFFORD –  The Graham County Department of Health and Human Services announced two additional deaths from COVID-19 on Wednesday.

The deceased are Safford residents over the age of 65. With the two new deaths, the total for the pandemic in Graham County is now at 19, and the death rate for those known to be infected raised to 3.3 percent. However, a number of people who get infected show little to no symptoms and do not end up getting tested, so the death rate is likely lower than the one that can be calculated.      

The health department also announced 15 new positive COVID-19 cases on Wednesday to bring Graham County’s total to 574. Prior to that, the county had only seen 14 cases this week from Sunday – Tuesday. According to benchmarks from the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS), Graham County needs to average less than 40 new positive tests per week to be in the “moderate” threshold which would allow some shuttered businesses to petition to reopen. The county needs to meet three separate benchmarks for two weeks in a row to meet the requirement. The benchmarks include the number of new cases, the percent positivity of tests, and the hospitalization of COVID-like illness for the region. Graham County’s region includes Greenlee, Cochise, Pima, and Santa Cruz counties.  

To date, the health department has tested 3,142 people, with 574 positives, 358 active cases, 197 recovered cases, and 19 deaths.