Number of COVID-19 positives in area holds steady

SAFFORD – Graham County Health Department is reporting that the number of positive cases of COVID-19 remains at just two.

The Health Department issued its daily update Tuesday afternoon, showing there have been 72 people tested, with 63 of the tests coming back as negative. Seven tests results are still pending.

In Greenlee County’s Monday update, the Greenlee Health Department reports testing 31 people thus far, with 29 coming back as negative and one as positive. One test result is still pending.

In a prepared statement, officials with Mt. Graham Regional Medical Center said the hospital is prepared should those positive cases increase.

“We at MGRMC feel that we are as prepared for the arrival of COVID-19 as any hospital in our situation could be. We have a very proactive Disaster Planning Team and a well-trained staff that has drilled for instances like this, and they — in conjunction with county health officials — have been monitoring and preparing for COVID-19 for weeks. We have more ventilators on hand than you would find in most communities our size and we have been fortunate in procuring Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) so that we have a multi-week supply on hand for our staff. There is no way for an organization like ours to know if we are truly prepared for a never-before-seen event like we are experiencing worldwide. But we believe, based on everything that has been conveyed to us from county, state and federal officials, that we have prepared as effectively as possible for the arrival of COVID-19 at our hospital,” the statement read.

On Tuesday, Gov. Doug Ducey announced the state has received 75 percent of its allocation from the National Strategic Stockpile of emergency medical supplies, including 181,260 H95 masks; 532,500 surgical face masks; 85,248 face shields; 59,631 surgical gowns; 361 coveralls; and 431,438 latex, non-latex and nitrile gloves.

To slow the spread of the virus, the Greenlee County Health Department is recommending the general public – including those who have not been tested – wear masks when out in public, in addition to practicing social distancing.

In its release, the Greenlee County Health Department said it will ask those pending test results to isolate themselves; however the Health Department said it will not ask others in the home to isolate themselves if the others are not showing any symptoms.

However, if a test comes back as positive, those who have had contact with the person testing positive will be asked to quarantine even if they are not showing symptoms.