County and state health officials are doubling down on their insistence that people wear face masks and maintain their distance as the number of COVID-19 cases continue to surge throughout the state.

“Graham County has increased 60 COVID-19 cases in the last seven days. For the next several weeks, we are anticipating this trend to continue,” said Graham County Health Director Brian Douglas. “We have to strengthen our efforts to slow the spread of the virus. It’s more important than ever to wear face coverings in public, social distancing by 6 ft, washing hands frequently, and staying home.”

As of Monday morning, Graham County had documented 152 cases of COVID-19 since March 13. Greenlee County had 26 cases and Cochise County 826.

Thirty-three of the Graham County residents with COVID-19 have recovered and three have died. Eleven of the Greenlee County patients have recovered and one has died. In Cochise County, 416 patients have recovered and 14 have died.

The Arizona Department of Health Services announced Monday that more than 62,000 of the 101,441 reported cases are in people younger than 44 years old. There have been 129,576 COVID-19 related deaths nationwide, with 1,810 deaths reported in Arizona.

Douglas pointed out that while the daily number of COVID-19 deaths have generally decreased nationwide, deaths from COVID-19 typically come weeks after new infections are diagnosed. It can take up to two weeks for symptoms to appear and then even longer for people to become sick enough to require hospitalization.

Nationwide the percentage of positive tests is at 9 percent to date, with 13.4 percent COVID-19 positive PCR tests to date in Arizona. Hospitalizations have also increased, with more than 3,200 COVID-19 inpatients and over 800 ICU patients currently reported in Arizona hospitals.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, 2.8 million cases of COVID-19 had been documented in the U.S.. More than 52,000 new cases were recorded Sunday alone. Over 129,000 people have died.

“Similar to several other states around the nation, we continue to see rising numbers of cases and hospitalizations in Arizona,” Dr. Cara Christ, ADHS director said in a news release. “It’s important for Arizonans to understand that COVID-19 is widespread and circulating in our community, especially in our 20 to 44 year olds. We urge every Arizonan to follow Governor Ducey’s executive orders to contain the spread and take simple precautions, such as wearing a face-covering when out in public and avoiding gatherings of people, to prevent the further transmission of COVID-19.”

On June 29, Governor Ducey issued Executive Order 2020-43, Pausing Arizona’s Reopening, putting several mitigation measures in place to help contain the spread of COVID-19, including:

Prohibiting public organized events of 50 or more people.

Ceasing the issuance of series 15 special event liquor licenses through July 27th.

Pausing the operations of high-risk environments including bars, indoor gyms, indoor movie theaters, water parks, and tubing operators until at least July 27th.

Preventing groups of 10 or more from congregating at pools.

In addition to the actions in the Executive Order, Governor Ducey reminded Arizonans that they are safer at home and there are simple steps every Arizonan can take to slow the spread of COVID-19:

Physically distance by staying at least six feet away from others.

Wear a cloth face-covering in public.

Arizonans at higher risk for severe illness should continue to stay at home and avoid attending settings with 10 or more people who are not usual household contacts. People at higher risk for severe illness include adults 65 or older and people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions.

Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

Stay at home when you are sick.

If you believe you have been exposed to or infected with COVID-19, stay home unless you are seeking medical care. Arizonans can find COVID-19 testing locations at azhealth.gov/COVID19testing.

For more information about Arizona’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak, visit azhealth.gov/COVID-19.

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