Another day of COVID-19 cases in double digits

- David Bell Graph/Gila Valley Central

SAFFORD — Graham County Health Department reported 12 new cases of coronavirus Wednesday, the fifth day this month that new cases have been in the double digits.

Six of the cases involve residents on the San Carlos Apache reservation, four are in Safford and there is one each in Pima and Thatcher.

That brings Graham County’s total to 963, with 195 of the cases considered active and 26 deaths. Graham County’s infection rate is at 6.3 percent according to the Arizona Department of Health Services school dashboard.

Graham County Health Department, in conjunction with the Arizona State University’s Biodesign Institute, will conduct another testing blitz using the saliva collection method Saturday, Oct. 23, at Graham County Fairgrounds.

Appointments for Saturday’s free testing blitz — from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Graham County Fairgrounds — are strongly encouraged.

To reserve a time, log in at and enter the agency code SALIVATEST. Once logged-in to the portal, click on “Appointments” to schedule a time. Arrive no more than 15 minutes before scheduled.

Requirements of the saliva test include:

• One must wear a protective face covering — either cloth or surgical mask

• Bring the QR code received after scheduling a test appointment

• 30 minutes before the appointment, rinse the mouth with plain water for 20-30 seconds and then spit the water out

• Do not eat, drink (even water), smoke, vape or chew gum for 30 minutes prior to the appointment time (any of these factors may cause an invalid test and/or the test may be rejected by clinical personnel at site collection)

• Staying well hydrated by drinking water the day before and up to 30 minutes prior to the test will speed the saliva collection process.

Results will be available at the online portal about 48 hours after the test.

Greenlee County Health Department announced no new cases of COVID-19. The county has a total of 66 cases, with seven cases considered active and two deaths.