SAFFORD – After a lower-than-expected number of coronavirus cases Tuesday, the Gila Valley returned to December’s normal Wednesday.
Graham County Health Department reported 36 new cases Wednesday, with 24 in the Safford area, eight in Thatcher, three in Pima and one on the San Carlos Apache Reservation.
With one day left in the month, that brings the total number of new cases in December to 961, eight fewer than November, the peak month of the pandemic in Graham County.
The past two months have been particularly difficult for health-care providers in the Gila Valley, with 61 percent of Graham County’s 3,180 cases having occurred in November and December.
In addition, nearly half – 21 – of the 50 coronavirus-related deaths Graham County occurred in November and December.
Graham County’s positivity rate is currently at 21.2 percent.
Greenlee County Health Department reported six new cases Tuesday evening.
That brings Greenlee’s total of new cases in December to 152, with December accounting for 38 percent of all cases experienced in Greenlee County since the start of the pandemic.
Greenlee has 167 cases considered active and there have been three deaths.