November ends with 145 percent more COVID-19 cases than October

- David Bell Graph/Gila Valley Central

SAFFORD — Thanksgiving holiday weekend saw 174 new cases of COVID-19 and another coronavirus-related death in the Gila Valley.

Graham County Health Department reported 76 cases Thursday, 15 Friday, 26 and one death Saturday, 26 Sunday, and 21 Monday.

The death involved a Safford resident over the age of 65.

Monday’s cases brought November’s total of new cases to 969, a 145 percent increase in the number of new cases than October’s 395, the month with the previously largest number of cases.

Due to the increased number of cases in November, Mt. Graham Regional Medical Center announced it was updating its visitation policy. The new policy includes:

● Reduced visiting hours in the ICU and on the Medical/Surgical floor

● Visitor accessibility to the Emergency Department will be dependent on the volume and acuity of patients currently being cared for in the ED

● All visitors to MGRMC will be required to wear a mask provided by the hospital.

Additional information and specifics will be provided to visitors upon arrival at the hospital.

Of November’s cases, 42 percent involved residents of the Safford area, 26 percent were on the San Carlos Apache Reservation, 23 percent in Thatcher, 8 percent in Pima and 1 percent in Fort Thomas.

Reviewing November’s cases by age, 43 percent involved people 20 to 44 years old, while 20 percent involved those under 20. The other three age groups tracked by the Health Department saw an even split in cases, with the 45 to 54 age group and the 55 to 64 age group recording 12 percent of November’s cases each, and the over 65 age group recording 13 percent.

Since the start of the pandemic, Graham County has recorded 2,215 coronavirus cases and 35 deaths. The county has a 32.9 percent positivity rate and a 1.6 percent mortality rate.

Greenlee County

Greenlee County saw 22 new cases and one death over the holiday weekend.

Greenlee County Health Department reported four cases Thursday, eight Friday, three Saturday and seven cases Sunday.

The death was reported Sunday, a Duncan resident over the age of 70. It was the second COVID-19 related death of a Duncan area resident since the start of the pandemic and the third for the county.

Greenlee County has more than doubled the number of cases it had experienced prior to this month, growing from 103 cases on Nov. 1 to 234 as of Nov. 29, a total of 131 new cases in November.

Greenlee County is now at 234 cases since the start of the pandemic. The county has a positivity rate of 14.6 percent and a 1.3 percent mortality rate.