For the second time in less than a month, one of Duncan High School's athletic teams has been placed in quarantine.
The Wildkats' football team just came off quarantine Aug. 9 after being exposed to COVID-19 and now a large segment of the team's volleyball team is in quarantine.
Duncan Unified School District Superintendent Eldon Merrell said 12 girls participated on the first day of volleyball practice Monday and one of them has since tested positive for COVID-19. Ten of the girls weren't vaccinated and are now in quarantine, but the two girls who were vaccinated are still in school, he said.
Those in quarantine will be back by Aug. 24, he said.
If students want to avoid being quarantined, masks and/or vaccinations would help, Merrell said.
Although vaccines have been available for children 12 and older at Safeway and other locations for a few weeks, it wasn't until this week that the Greenlee and Graham county health departments received the vaccination. Both health departments had been waiting for the FDA to approve the Moderna vaccine, but since it's still pending, eventually opted to get the Pfizer vaccine instead.
Starting Thursday, Aug. 12, Graham County will offer the Pfizer vaccine to kids 12 and older every Thursday and Friday from 5 pm - 7:30 pm at 627 W. Main Street in Safford.
Residents may schedule a COVID-19 vaccination appointment online at www.graham.az.gov or call the health department at 928-428-0110.
Greenlee County health officials are working to set up clinics as soon as possible, said Greenlee County Health Department Medical Director Fred Fox.
According to the Arizona Department of Health Services, just 4.4% of people under 20 in Greenlee County have been vaccinated against the virus. Overall, 33.4% of the county has received the vaccination. In Graham County, 10.6% of people under 20 are vaccinated; the overall vaccination rate is 44.2%. The statewide statistics are 17.3% and 53.3%, respectively.
According to the Graham County Health Department, 42 residents contracted COVID-19 Aug. 5-Aug. 11 and 13 of them were under the age of 20. One resident also succumbed to the virus this week, bringing the death toll up to 89 since March 2020.
Seventeen Greenlee County residents contracted the virus during the same time period; it's unclear how many of them were under 20.
More than 1,500 Arizonans were in the hospital battling COVID-19 as of Wednesday and 383 of them were in ICU. According to the state health department, the state hasn't seen numbers like these since February.