More than 100 new COVID-19 cases over the weekend, Chamber, Dems call for mask mandate

- David Bell Graph/Gila Valley Central

SAFFORD — Between Saturday and Monday, the Gila Valley saw 118 new cases of coronavirus.

Graham County Health Department reported 58 new cases Saturday, 31 Sunday and 29 Monday, bringing the total number of new cases since Nov. 1 to 687.

Fifty of the new cases are in the Safford area, 29 are on the San Carlos Apache Reservation, 29 in Thatcher, nine in Pima and one in Fort Thomas.

Graham County’s total since the start of the pandemic is now at 1,933, with 839 of the cases considered active and 33 deaths.

To reduce the spread and prevent Mt. Graham Regional Medical Center from exceeding capacity, the Graham County Chamber of Commerce board of directors is calling on the county’s Board of Supervisors to institute a mask mandate.

The board issued its letter of support for a mask mandate Saturday. Just days earlier, the Graham County Democratic Party’s central committee also voted in favor of a mask mandate for the county.

The Pima Town Council called a special meeting for Monday at 6 p.m. to address the issue, and a COVID-19 update is the first item on the agenda for the Safford City Council’s regular meeting Monday, also at 6 p.m.

Currently, the Thatcher Town Council nor the Graham County Board of Supervisors have scheduled meetings to address a mask mandate.

Greenlee County

Greenlee County added 17 new cases over the weekend.

Greenlee County Health Department reported four new cases Friday, nine Saturday and four Sunday, bringing the total number of new cases in Greenlee County since Nov. 1 to 81.

Greenlee County has experienced 184 cases since the start of the pandemic, with 91 considered active and two deaths.