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The number of Graham County residents who have tested positive for COVID-19 since the pandemic began is now up to 82. The county health department announced Friday night seven new patients from Thatcher, southern Graham County, Safford and the San Carlos Apache reservation have contracted the virus.  

Brian Douglas, the health department director, said the vast majority of the patients can be tracked to a specific cluster of patients, but there are a few who contracted the illness from someone unknown. The county now has seven active clusters. Thirty-three of the 82 have recovered from the illness; two have died.

Douglas said that although some residents are complying with the department's recommendations to maintain their distance, wear masks and wash their hands frequently, many are not.

"Most recently, we are finding COVID-19 transmissions occurring with people who are not wearing face coverings in public, at work, and those attending gatherings at homes of families and friends," Douglas said.

Those who have been diagnosed lately tend to be younger adults, Douglas said. The Ages of the 82 positive cases: (17) under 20, (15) 21-34 years old, (31) 35-64 years old, (19) 65 years old plus.

The Centers for Disease Control announced 40,588 new cases nationwide and 2,516 news deaths. The total number of cases since the start of the pandemic is now just over 2.4 million. The number of people who have died is 124,325.

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