Five coronavirus-related deaths over the weekend in the Gila Valley

- David Bell Graph/Gila Valley Central

SAFFORD — The weekend proved to be the deadliest thus far for COVID-19 in Graham County, with five deaths, including three on Sunday, the day with the greatest number of deaths in the Gila Valley since the start of the pandemic.

Graham County Health Department reported one death Friday, one Saturday and three Sunday. One of the victims was from Pima, one from Thatcher and the other three were Safford residents. One was between the ages of 45 and 54, one was in the 55-64 age group and the other three were over the age of 65.

There have been 11 coronavirus-related deaths in Graham County thus far in December, the second most in a month since 13 deaths were recorded in August.

That brings Graham County death total to 46, for a 1.6 percent mortality rate. Forty of the deaths involve persons 65 and older, giving that age group a 10.6 percent mortality rate.

Graham County’s total number of cases has climbed to 2,816, with 34 new cases reported Friday, 28 Saturday, 27 Sunday and 21 Monday. That brings December’s total number of new cases to 601, which is 4 percent behind the peak month of November at the same time.

Currently, 957 cases are considered active and Graham County has a positivity rate of 25.4 percent.

Greenlee County

Greenlee County added 10 new cases over the last few days.

Greenlee County Health Department reported seven new cases Thursday, two Friday and one Sunday. There have been 114 new COVID-19 cases in Greenlee County since Dec. 1.

That brings Greenlee’s total to 360, with 129 cases considered active and three deaths.

Greenlee County has a positivity rate of 9 percent.