Douglas: ’21 additional cases in the past two weeks’

SAFFORD —COVID-19 cases in Graham County continue to rise and it’s resulting in more people in quarantine.

Wednesday evening, Brian Douglas, director of Graham County Health Department, announced three new cases — one in Thatcher and two in unincorporated southern Graham County — all related to previous clusters.

The three new cases bring Graham County’s total to 48 with two deaths.

“Since Arizona lifted its stay-at-home order on May 15, COVID-19 cases have increased considerably, reaching record highs,” Douglas wrote. “Graham County is also experiencing a rise in cases; we have had 21 additional cases in the past two weeks.

“We are asking our residents to take extra precautions: social distance, wear face masks when in public and stay at home as much as possible,” he added.

On a social media post, Graham County Supervisor Danny Smith said the increase in cases means about 400 residents are in self-quarantine as a result of contact with those who tested positive.

“From here out you will likely see the number of cases go up and down and you will wonder why. The reason is that people don’t always enter and get treated for COVID-19 in the same county they live in. It takes a couple days for those patients to get assigned the correct county,” Smith wrote.

The San Carlos Apache Tribe also saw an increase of one in the number of positive COVID-19 cases Wednesday, bringing the trib’es total to 32 — 14 on the reservation and 18 off — with two off-reservation deaths.

Greenlee County also reported one new case Wednesday, bringing Greenlee’s total to 11 with one death.

The area’s first free mass testing will take place Saturday, June 13, at Canyonlands Healthcare.

Those participating in the drive-through testing will first complete paperwork and then be given a nasal swab. Results are expected to take a few days to complete and participants will be notified of results. Those who test positive will be given additional instructions.

The testing will take place from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Canyonlands, 2016 W. 16th Street in Safford.

For more information contact Canyonlands at 928-428-1500 or Graham County Health Department at 928-428-0110.