January tops December for most COVID-19 cases in Graham County

- David Bell Graph/Gila Valley Central

SAFFORD — The outbreak of COVID-19 at area correctional facilities seems to have run its course at the present, but the virus continues to spread within the community.

In an e-mail Sunday, Graham County Health Department reported that “only one or two positive cases are being reported from correctional facilities per day” at the present time.

However, 126 new cases were reported over the three-day period between Friday and Sunday, bringing January’s total of new cases thus far to 1,133. That’s 130 more than the entire month of December, the previous peak month of the pandemic in Graham County.

There was also a coronavirus-related death reported Sunday, a Safford resident between the ages of 45 and 54.

That’s the seventh death due to COVID-19 in Graham County in January thus far, and brings the county’s total number of deaths since the start of the pandemic to 58.

Greenlee County

Greenlee County Health Department reported nine new cases over the weekend, bringing the total number of new cases in January thus far to 76.

The Health Department also reported its moving into the next phase for vaccinations. Starting this week, Greenlee County residents 65 and older can register for the vaccine.

The vaccine will be dispensed at three locations throughout the county — Gila Health Resources in Morenci, and the Health Department offices in Clifton and Duncan. Proof of age and residence in Greenlee County must be presented to receive the vaccine.

To register, go to the Gila Health Resources webpage.