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The State of Arizona broke two records Sunday, with 1,007 COVID-19 patients in intensive care and 715 on ventilators. More than 10,000 new cases were reported Monday morning, pushing the total number of virus patients to more than 500,000. The number of COVID-19-related deaths stood at 8,469.

According to the State of Arizona, the hospital numbers are not related to the flu. So far only 411 flu patients have been formally diagnosed this season and as of Dec. 19, only five patients have died of either the flu or pneumonia statewide.

Graham County saw an increase of 342 COVID-19 cases Dec. 21-Dec. 28 and two patients with the virus died during the same time period, bringing the total to 48. Just over 1,000 of the county’s total 3,137 patients were battling the virus as of Monday morning.

As of Sunday, 157 of Greenlee County’s total patient count of 388 were still sick with the virus. Greenlee County saw 29 new patients diagnosed Dec. 20-Dec. 27. Since the start of the pandemic, three residents have died.

On the positive side, health officials in Graham and Greenlee counties began giving vaccines to health care workers last week and additional doses are expected to arrive this week. Health care and long-term care workers and long-term care residents are among the first to receive the vaccine. Next will be law enforcement officers, school workers and “essential” workers like those who work for oil, gas, electric and water utility companies. Senior citizens and adults with a high risk medical condition such as diabetes, kidney disease, heart disease and immune deficiencies will follow them.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, the U.S. is nearing 19 million total COVID-19 cases with 330,901 deaths, including 15,662 Dec. 20-Dec. 27.

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