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Graham County has lost five residents over the last three days to COVID-19.

The county health department announced the deaths of three Safford residents Sunday, one Thatcher resident Saturday and one Pima resident Friday. 

The youngest of the five was between 45-54, one resident fell in the 55-64 range and the others were older than 65.

The county has lost 46 residents with COVID-19 since the first COVID-19 case was diagnosed in Graham County in March. Health director Brian Douglas said every patient had an underlying health condition.

As of Sunday evening, 994 county residents were battling the illness and a few of them are in ICU at Mt. Graham Regional Medical Center, Douglas said. He was unsure how many patients have been transported to other hospitals in recent days.

Hospital spokesman Ryan Rapier said Friday night that there were 10 COVID-19 patients at the hospital, down from a high of 17 about a week ago.

According to the Arizona Department of Health Services, the state has documented 7,971 deaths since the start of the pandemic and 453,597 total cases. Nearly 5,400 of the cases were reported Sunday alone.

Arizona has been seeing a record-high number of COVID-19-related hospitalizations since Dec. 11. On July 13, 3,517 patients were hospitalized with the virus, the highest number to date. That record was broken on Dec. 11 and as of Saturday, 3,899 were hospitalized.

Of those hospitalized, 885 were in ICU Saturday and 595 were on ventilators.  Only 8% of the state's inpatient beds and 9% of ICU beds were available Saturday.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, 315,260 Americans with COVID-19 have died and 18,455 of those were within the last week. Over 17.5 million Americans have caught the virus since the first case in the U.S. on Jan. 21.

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