Graham County waiting on testing blitz results

Specialist Matthew Shlaimon, with the Arizona National Guard, provides straws used for saliva collection at a drive-through coronavirus testing blitz Saturday at Graham County Fairgrounds. Another testing blitz will take place Sept. 26, also at the fairgrounds. - David Bell Photo/Gila Valley Central

SAFFORD — The number of new coronavirus cases in Graham County continues to be low.

There were just six new cases over the past three days — three in Safford, one in Thatcher and two on the San Carlos Apache reservation. That brings Graham County’s total to 795, with 121 active, 648 recovered and 24 deaths.

Meanwhile, Health Department officials are waiting to hear what a recent testing blitz will do to those totals.

“It’s just been a trickle all day long, and it’s added up to (175) people. So we’re very pleased with that,” said Brian Douglas, director of the Graham County Health Department.

Graham County Health Department, in conjunction with the Arizona National Guard, will conduct another testing blitz Saturday, Sept. 26, at Graham County Fairgrounds.

Appointments for Saturday’s free testing blitz at Graham County Fairgrounds are strongly encouraged.

To reserve a time, log in at and enter the agency code SALIVATEST. Once logged-in to the portal, click on “Appointments” to schedule a time. Arrive no more than 15 minutes before scheduled.

Requirements of the saliva test include:

• One must wear a protective face covering — either cloth or surgical mask

• Bring the QR code received after scheduling a test appointment

• 30 minutes before the appointment, rinse the mouth with plain water for 20-30 seconds and then spit the water out

• Do not eat, drink (even water), smoke, vape or chew gum for 30 minutes prior to the appointment time (any of these factors may cause an invalid test and/or the test may be rejected by clinical personnel at site collection)

• Staying well hydrated by drinking water the day before and up to 30 minutes prior to the test will speed the saliva collection process.

Results will be available at the online portal about 48 hours after the test.

The San Carlos Apache Tribe announced eight new cases Monday, bringing the tribe’s total to 974, with 80 cases considered active, 879 recovered and 15 deaths.

Greenlee County is now at Day 45 without a new case of COVID-19.

Of the county’s 58 total number of cases, 56 people have recovered and there were two deaths.