Greenlee County and Graham County have each lost additional residents to COVID-19, bringing the total number of deaths due to the virus to 18 in Greenlee County and 126 in Graham County since the start of the pandemic.

Graham County Health Department Director Brian Douglas said Monday morning four people have died since Thursday and only one of the four was over the age of 65, which is considered the population most vulnerable to the virus.

He pointed out 97% of people in Graham County over the age of 65 are vaccinated. More than 81% of people 55-64 are vaccinated as well, but the numbers drop dramatically among the younger demographics.

With Thanksgiving on Thursday and the numbers as high as they are, Douglas is worried the surge will continue. He urges people who are eligible for the booster to get one. If they’ve not received their vaccination “now is a great time” and they can be fully vaccinated by New Year’s, he said.

He also hopes people who are feeling unwell stay home, noting Mt. Graham Regional Medical Center’s COVID-19 patient list is high right now.

According to the state health department, Graham County has recorded 8,334 cases amongst its 38,476 residents and has an overall vaccination rate of 52.6%.

According to the Greenlee County Health Department, they lost two more victims late last week, both people in their 50s from Morenci. Four people have died in Morenci as a result of the virus, six have died from the Clifton area and eight have lived in the Duncan area.

Greenlee County has recorded 1,378 cases amongst its 10,375 residents and as of Monday morning had a vaccination rate of 40.1%. Statewide, 61.5% haver received at least one dose of the vaccine.

The number of people in intensive care units statewide is also climbing. According to the state, there were 650 people in ICU Sunday compared to 485 a month ago and 160 six months ago.

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