FCI-Safford site of latest coronavirus spike

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SAFFORD – An outbreak at one of the Safford-area correctional facilities is driving up the number of new coronavirus cases in the Gila Valley.

The Graham County Health Department reported 58 new cases Wednesday, the second day in a row that new cases exceeded 50.

The overwhelming majority of cases – 52 – are attributed to the Safford area but, Health Department officials said, almost all those cases are related to the outbreak an area prison.

While the Health Department didn’t specific which correctional facility has experienced the outbreak, the U.S Bureau of Prisons is reporting that the Federal Corrections Institution-Safford in Bonita has 121 inmates and 13 staff who have tested positive.

Meanwhile the Arizona Department of Corrections is reporting just three active cases at Arizona State Prison Complex-Safford. With 13 inmates who have recovered.

The new cases reported Wednesday brings Graham County’s total of new cases to 712 in December and the total since the start of the pandemic to 2,931, with 1,011 cases considered active and 47 deaths.

Greenlee County

Greenlee County Health Department reported four new cases Tuesday evening.

That brings Greenlee County’s total number of new cases in December to 123.

Since the start of the pandemic, Greenlee County has experienced 369 cases, with 138 considered active and three deaths.