Dead from coronavirus in Graham County climbs to 30 in December

- David Bell Graph/Gila Valley Central

SAFFORD — As 2021 nears the end, the death toll from COVID-19 in Graham County continues to grow.

Graham County Health Department reported three more coronavirus-related deaths Monday, bringing December’s total thus far to 30. That’s nearly double the number of dead during the previous peak month of December 2020 (16), and four more than the entire fourth quarter of 2020.

There have been 8,938 Graham County residents who have tested positive for COVID-19, including 42 new cases reported Monday.

That means 23 percent of the county’s residents have tested positive since the start of the pandemic, and Graham County has a 1.8 percent mortality rate from the virus.

Arizona Department of Health Services reports that 54.9 percent of Graham County residents have been vaccinated for the virus.

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.

Mt. Graham Regional Medical Center, in partnership with the United Way of Graham and Greenlee Counties, is offering free drive-up COVID-19 testing at the hospital’s Copper Mountain Clinic. Free drive-up testing takes place Monday through Friday, from 1-5 p.m., and Saturday 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.