May starts with two coronavirus-related deaths

- David Bell Graph/Gila Valley Central

SAFFORD — May is continuing the trend of few new cases of coronavirus in the Gila Valley; however, May has already doubled last month’s number of COVID-19 related deaths.

Graham County Health Department reported two deaths so far this month, the first reported May 3 involving a Thatcher resident over the age of 65, and the second reported May 4 involving a Safford resident between the ages of 55 and 64.

There have been nine new cases of coronavirus through May 6, an average of 1.5 per day, which is up slightly from April’s average of 1.07 new cases per day.

April finished with a case count of 171; however, 139 of those cases were incorrectly attributed to Gila County in previous months and the adjustment was made in April. Taking out those adjusted cases, Graham County saw just 31 new cases in April, the lowest amount since the start of the pandemic in March 2020.

According to Arizona Department of Health Services, there have been 16,709 doses of vaccine administered in Graham County thus far, inoculating 24.6 percent of the county’s population.

Graham County Health Department continues offer free vaccinations; both the Moderna two-dose and the one-dose Johnson & Johnson. Go to, or call 928-428-0110, to schedule an appointment.