December on pace to be new peak month

- David Bell Graph/Gila Valley Central

SAFFORD — The number of new coronavirus cases in the Gila Valley in December continues to outpace the area’s previous peak month.

Graham County Health Department reported 35 new cases Thursday, brining December’s total thus far to 258. November — the month with the most COVID-19 cases in Graham County to date — had experienced 221 new cases through the first 10 days.

Of Thursday’s new cases, 13 involved people between the ages of 20 and 44. There were 10 cases in the 55-64 age group — the first time in 20 days that group saw new cases in double digits — nine person over the age of 65 tested positive and three cases involved persons 45-54.

For the first time in a month, there were no cases involving person under the age of 20.

The Health Department also reported a coronavirus-related death Thursday, a Safford Resident over the age of 65. It was the fourth death in Graham County so far this month and the 39th since the start of the pandemic.

Of the 39 deaths, 35 have involved persons over the age of 65, giving that age group a 10.5 percent mortality rate.

Graham County’s total is now at 2,473, with 1,033 cases considered active. Graham County is experiencing a 27.3 percent positivity rate.

Greenlee County

Greenlee County Health Department reported two new coronavirus cases Wednesday evening, bringing the total number of new cases in December to 67.

Greenlee County’s total is up to 313, with 193 cases considered active and three deaths.

Greenlee County has a positivity rate of 10.4 percent.