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Tue, Sept. 29

Mohave County Health Director delivers good news on COVID-19 front

Denise Burley, Mohave County’s public health director, discusses the county’s response to the pandemic with the county board of supervisors. (Miner file photo)

Denise Burley, Mohave County’s public health director, discusses the county’s response to the pandemic with the county board of supervisors. (Miner file photo)

KINGMAN – After a tragic surge in COVID-19 deaths and cases in July, Mohave County may finally be on the road to recovery.

Mohave County Public Health Director Denise Burley told the county supervisors on Monday that cases fell about 26% last week, after leveling off the week before. “Nice to see,” Burley said. “Hopefully that is the trend.”

Mohave County has experienced 3,029 cases of the coronavirus and 148 deaths since the first case was revealed here on March 24.

July proved to be the deadliest month of the pandemic so far for Mohave County, with more than half of the county’s confirmed cases (1,822) and deaths (74) logged in the month.

In the seven-day period ending Monday, Aug. 3 the county reported 244 new cases and 16 deaths, compared to 411 cases and 18 deaths in the seven-day period ending Monday, July 27.

Nonetheless, according to national standards, Mohave County, along with many other Arizona counties, is still in the red zone with more than 100 new cases per 100,000 people last week.

Also, Arizona’s test positivity rate is over 10%, while Mohave County’s is even higher.

Burley said one of the biggest problems her department is experiencing is a struggle to get complete information about patients who were tested from the labs and hospital testing areas.

“In some cases,” Burley said, “all we literally have is a name and that’s about it.”

That explains the new “unknown” data category on the county’s COVID-19 response webpage that lists known cases where the place of residence or age of the patient is not available.

Supervisor Buster Johnson of District 3, based on his own experience with labs, expressed disbelief.

Johnson pointed out that whenever a person is having lab work done, they are always required to provide their name, address and insurance information.

“I’m concerned hearing that those labs don’t provide all of the information,” he said and requested a list of offending labs that Burley promised to deliver.

The public health director also mentioned that the county has hired a coordinator to oversee the cohort of 12 case investigators.

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