COVID case count down, deaths up to end 2021 in Graham County

- David Bell Graph/Gila Valley Central

SAFFORD — 2022 is starting out significantly better than 2021 did when it comes to new COVID-19 cases in the Gila Valley.

On Monday, Graham County Health Department reported 53 new coronavirus cases over the previous seven days. That’s 71 percent fewer new cases than as of Jan. 3, 2021.

The final quarter of 2021 ended better than the previous year. There were 1,822 new cases reported Oct. 1 through Dec. 31, 23 percent fewer than the 2,378 new cases October through December 2020.

The Health Department also reported Monday three more conronavirus-related deaths over the previous seven days, bringing the total dead from COVID-19 in Graham County since the start of the pandemic to 159.

While the year ended with fewer new cases compared to the previous year, that wasn’t the case when it came to coronavirus-related deaths. There were 55 deaths linked to COVID-19 in the fourth quarter of 2021, a 112 percent jump over the 26 deaths in the fourth quarter of 2020.

Graham County Health Department is providing free vaccines to anyone 5-years-old and older, and free boosters to anyone 18 and older. To schedule an appointment for the free vaccine or booster, go to Activities • Graham County, AZ • CivicEngage.

Arizona Department of Health Services reports that 55.7 percent of Graham County residents have been vaccinated for COVID-19.