Graham County COVID infection rate down to 5.2 percent, one new death reported

David Bell Photo/Gila Valley Central. Brian Douglas, director of the Graham County Health Department, gives a presentation on the state of COVID-19 in the county to the Safford City Council on Monday, June 22, 2020.

SAFFORD — Thanks to declining numbers of new positive cases, Graham County’s COVID-19 positivity rate is at 5.2 percent.

Brian Douglas, director of Graham County Health Department, said the positivity rate is determined on a weekly basis.

“The one consistent thing about COVID is it’s not consistent. But right now our numbers look good and continue to fall,” Douglas said. “I attribute that to our schools doing a very good job with the students.”

For the second day in a row, the Health Department recorded just one new case of COVID-19 in the county Thursday, and it involves a resident on the San Carlos Apache reservation. That brings the county’s total to 767, with 219 cases considered active and 524 recovered.

There was a death reported, a Safford resident over the age of 65. That brings the total number of COVID-related deaths in Graham County to 24.

Graham County Health Department also announced a testing blitz will take place Saturday, Sept. 19, from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the Graham County Fairgrounds near the Ag Building.

The test will be saliva based, rather than the nasal pharyngeal test; however, less invasive nasal swab tests will also be available.

The testing will be free to participants thanks to grant funding from United Way of Graham and Greenlee Counties and the Arizona National Guard.

The San Carlos Apache Tribe reported eight new cases Thursday, bringing the tribe’s total number of cases to 891, with 87 active, 789 recovered and 15 deaths.

The last time Greenlee County Health Department reported a new case of COVID-19 was Aug. 6 and that streak of no new cases continues.

Greenlee County’s total is holding at 58, with one case active 55 recovered and two deaths.