Graham at 221, Greenlee 37 cases of COVID-19

SAFFORD — Graham County reported three new cases of COVID-19 Tuesday while Greenlee County added four to its total.

Graham County Health Department said the two of the three new cases are in Safford while the other is in Thatcher. Of the 221 total cases in the county, 51 have recovered, 166 are active and there have been four deaths.

Greenlee County is now at 37 cases with Tuesday’s new positives. Twelve have recovered, there are 24 active and there has been one death.

Greenlee and Graham are the counties with the two lowest counts of COVID-19 cases in the state, about 200 cases lower than Gila and La Paz , the next two lowest. Every other county in the state is in excess of 1,000 cases, up to more than 86,000 cases in Maricopa County.

Melissa Lunt, public health nurse supervisor for Graham County Health Department, said residents should not be complacent despite the low numbers.

“It’s reaching us slower, so we still need to be on guard and we still need to be cautious. And, from my perspective, it’s coming and our rate will increase,” she said during a recent appearance on Voice of the Valley.

Lunt and Health Department Director Brian Douglas said residents should continue to follow CDC guidelines of physically distancing at least 6 feet from one another, wash hands regularly, wear a mask when in public and stay home as much as possible.

Greenlee County has mandated the wearing of face coverings in public. While Graham County and its communities have not, Walmart announced Wednesday that face coverings will be required for entrance to the store in Safford effective Monday, July 20.

Editor’s Note: This story was edited at 2:04 p.m. Wednesday, July 15, 2020, to include Walmart’s announcement about face coverings.