Graham County lost another five residents to COVID-19 the week of Oct. 21-Oct. 27 and the average number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 at Mt. Graham Regional Medical Center has increased sharply over the last two weeks.

According to MGRMC Spokesman Shaylee Richards, over the last 14 days, the hospital has averaged 12 virus patients compared to the two-week average of seven reported last week.

Roughly one quarter of all people tested for COVID-19 at the hospital over the last weeks have tested positive.

Ninety-two percent of the COVID-19 patients hospitalized since Sept. 1 had not been fully vaccinated, according to Richards.

Graham County Health Department Director Brian Douglas said Graham, Greenlee and Cochise counties have all experienced surges recently and officials are attributing the increase to county fairs.

According to the state, 192 patients were diagnosed in Graham County Oct. 21-Oct. 27 compared to 159 last week and 127 the week prior to that, according to state health department statistics.

Since the start of the pandemic, 7,619 Graham County residents have contracted the virus and 118 have died, 30 in the last six months.

In Greenlee County, 1,137 residents have caught COVID-19 and 16 have died, six in the last six months.

Fifty-two patients were diagnosed in Greenlee County from Oct. 21 to Oct. 27 compared to 38 last week and 35 the week prior to that.

Last week, the state as a whole was reporting lower cases, but that is not the case this week. According to the Arizona Department of Health Services, 14,918 patients were diagnosed and 274 died statewide Oct. 14-Oct. 20. However, state statistics show 17,104 new cases and 323 additional deaths from Oct. 21-Oct. 27.

According to ADHS, 59% of Arizonans have received at least one COVID-19 vaccination shot. That number is 51% in Graham County and 39.3% in Greenlee County.

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