SAFFORD — Graham County Health Director Brian Douglas previously said it would likely be the Labor Day weekend before his agency would know if students returning to the classroom would have an impact on the number of COVID-19 cases in the county.
Based on the data released over the holiday weekend, there was virtually no impact from school buildings re-opening.
From Friday, Sept. 4, through Tuesday, Sept. 8, Graham County Health Department recorded 21 new cases of coronavirus. However, 16 of those cases were on the Graham County portion of the San Carlos Apache reservation. There were three new cases in Safford — one Friday and two Sunday — and two new cases in Thatcher — one Friday and one Sunday. There were no cases in Pima.
Both Thatcher and Pima resumed in-classroom instruction on Aug. 17. On Sept. 2 Safford schools resumed in-classroom instruction on a hybrid basis — with students spending two days a week in the classroom and two days receiving instruction online.
The new cases bring Graham County’s total to 765, with 234 cases considered active, 509 recovered and 22 deaths.
The San Carlos Apache Tribe — which is located in both Graham and Gila counties — is reporting 21 new cases over the holiday weekend. That brings the tribe’s total to 871, with 74 active, 782 recovered and 15 deaths.
With no new cases reported over the last 31 days, Greenlee County is down to just one active case.
The Greenlee County Health Department reports 55 of the county’s 58 total cases have recovered, while there have been two deaths.