The number of COVID-19 cases continue to decline statewide and in Graham and Greenlee counties. Hospital numbers continue to improve as well.

According to the Arizona Department of Health Services, the number of new COVID-19 cases decreased by almost half during the week of Feb. 7-Feb. 14 when compared to the week of Jan. 24-Jan. 30.

Statistics show 19,515 new patients were diagnosed last week compared to the 38,000 diagnosed Jan. 24-Jan. 30. Since the start of the pandemic, 798,608 Arizonans have caught the virus and 14,978 have died.

As of Sunday, there were 2,119 COVID-19 patients hospitalized statewide with 644 of them in the ICU. On Jan. 30, 3,664 were in the hospital and 979 were in ICU.

The number of COVID-19 patients dying while battling the virus continues to remain high. Over the last three weeks, that number has remained in the 900 to 10,000 range.

Nine Greenlee County residents were diagnosed with COVID-19 Feb. 7-Feb. 14 compared to 12 the week before and 15 the week of Jan. 24-Jan. 30.

Although 104 Graham County residents were diagnosed with the virus Feb. 7-Feb. 14 compared to 70 the week prior, the daily numbers have been falling since Feb. 7.

According to the state health department, 4,617 vaccinations have been given in Graham County and of those, 1,150 have received their second shot. In Greenlee County, 3,042 residents have been inoculated and 313 have received their second shot.

On Monday, the Graham County Health Department announced it is now vaccinating the last 1B priority group — “essential workers” and once they are done, they’ll be moving on to adults of all ages with high risk medical conditions.

The health department is not scheduling individuals for essential workers. It is reaching out to local employers to register their businesses at: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSemDRU6FqOAp96LVUAfH7WGUJRiyEZcCpfGtROqI4JjTPGaXQ/viewform to submit their business vaccination plan.

This information provides Graham County Health Department vital data needed to schedule a vaccination clinic for their employees.

Director Brian Douglas asked that people remain patient.

“After completing all of Phase 1A and 1B, the vaccination rate will increase as we are able to conduct larger vaccination clinics and as vaccine becomes more available,” Douglas said.

He also pointed out that Family Medical Center, Gila Valley Clinic, Mt. Graham Family Practice, Canyonlands, Copper Mountain Clinic, and Walgreens all have COVID-19 vaccine available. If you are 65 years or older you may schedule an appointment with one of these providers.

Over the last week, the U.S. recorded 88,193 new cases of the virus and 3,317 deaths nationwide. The nation has now seen more than 27 million cases of the virus and 482,536 deaths.

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