March continues downward trend of new coronavirus cases

- David Bell Graph/Gila Valley Central

SAFFORD —February ended with the fewest number of new COVID-19 cases in the Gila Valley since September, and March is continuing that trend.

Graham County Health Department reported that February ended with 173 cases, a 90 percent drop in new cases from January and an 83 percent drop from December.

Meanwhile there have been just nine new cases through the first four days of March, 44 percent below February at the same time.

However, there were three more deaths reported over the past seven days, bringing the total number in February to eight, two in March thus far and 75 since the start of the pandemic.

The Health Department also announced that residents 55 and older are now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

“Gila County was getting very close to opening up things up, we were also, (and then) on Monday, with ADHS releasing the new priority groups, we’re not opening things up now, we’re just reducing the age limit to 55 up to 64 at this point, if you meet certain criteria,” said Brian Douglas, director of Graham County Health Department.

Eligible residents are asked to call their primary care physician to schedule a vaccination appointment. Those without a primary care physician may register at

Greenlee County

Greenlee County Health Department reported three new cases and one more death over the past seven days.

The death was reported Saturday, Feb. 27, bringing the county’s total to 10 since the start of the pandemic.

February ended with 37 new cases, a 67 percent drop in cases from January and a 76 drop in new cases from December.

There have been just two new cases in Greenlee County in March thus far.