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Tue, Sept. 29

Last weeks COVID-19 cases have hit home in Mohave County

KINGMAN – The impact of a rash of COVID-19 cases weeks ago has hit home in Mohave County.

Eight more deaths from complications of the coronavirus were announced by the Mohave County Department of Public Health the evening of Tuesday, Aug. 11. It raised the death toll to 168, and was the second-most deadliest day for the county since the first case was reported on March 24.

The victims included three residents of the sprawling Kingman medical service area – one each in the 30-39, 80-89 and 90-plus age ranges. The victim in his or her 30s was one of the youngest recorded to date in the county, where the average age of a patient who dies from the virus is 77.

The other deaths were all in the Lake Havasu City service area. The victims were all older, with two each in the 70-79 and 80-89 age ranges, and another over the age of 90.

Another 30 new cases were also revealed, with just one patient from the Kingman area, an adult age 30-39. Bullhead City recorded 19 new cases, while nine new positive cases were confirmed in Lake Havasu City and one in the Arizona Strip. The county has now experienced 3,245 cases, and 1,841 residents had recovered as of Monday, Aug. 10.

The new wave of deaths – fatalities typically rise about three weeks after an outbreak of cases -- comes as the number of new cases and deaths in the county had been declining.

“This has been our second big week of decreases,” county Public Health Director Denise Burley said Monday, Aug. 10, telling the county board of supervisors that she had noticed a “big, big improvement.”

In the seven-day period ending Tuesday, Aug. 11 the county reported 187 new cases and 18 deaths. That compares to 273 new cases and 14 deaths in the prior seven-day period ending Tuesday, Aug. 4; and 347 cases and 19 deaths for the week ending Tuesday, July 28.

Burley thanked county residents for their help in reducing the spread by taking preventive measures like wearing face masks and social distancing. She also thanked health care workers at senior centers and nursing homes for preventing outbreaks, and said she hopes the trend will continue.

The decline in cases comes after a tragic July, when more than half of the county’s cases (1,822) and nearly half of the deaths (74) were logged.

Ditto for the entire state. “We are seeing a decrease throughout Arizona,” Burley said, adding the county’s downward curve mimics the state’s.

The Arizona Department of Health Services reported the seven-day rolling average of daily new cases dropped over the past two weeks from 2,663 new cases a day on July 27 to 1,147 new cases a day on Monday. The seven-day rolling average of daily deaths also dropped, going from 87 deaths per day on July 27 to 54 deaths a day on Monday.

But while the curve of new cases has been flattened and is falling, the pandemic continues to take a toll in the county.

The Bullhead City service area, which includes Fort Mohave, has suffered the most, with 1,512 positive cases and 70 deaths. Lake Havasu City has had 1,021 cases and 40 deaths.

Kingman has experienced a comparably small number of cases with 628, but a disproportionate share of the county’s deaths with 58. There have been 71 cases, but no deaths, in the Arizona Strip.

Due to different manners of reporting and compiling data, state and county statistics vary, with Mohave County showing five fewer cases and 10 fewer deaths than the state was reporting on Wednesday, Aug. 12.

The average age of death of COVID-19 victims in the county is 77 years, while the age of the average patient is 48 years. About 55% of the patients have been female.

The positivity rate for tests conducted on county residents remained high on Tuesday, Aug. 11. According to daily test data released by the Arizona Department of Health Services, there were 24 new cases of the virus from 92 tests for a positivity rate of 26%.

AZDHS had reported a positivity rate for Mohave County of 14% (25/179) on Tuesday, Aug. 4; 4% (5/118) on Wednesday, Aug. 5; 40% (69/173) on Thursday, Aug. 6; 2% (3/156) on Friday, Aug. 7; 19% (36/186) on Saturday, Aug. 8; 14% (16/111) on Sunday, Aug. 9; and 65% (24/37) on Monday, Aug. 10.

According to AZDHS, 18,852 tests have been conducted on county residents since the start of the pandemic.

Of the 15,180 tests conducted for the actual virus, 12.2% of the individuals have tested positive. Of the 3,672 serology tests, which determine only if the individual had the virus in the past, 5.7% have been positive.

Statewide on Wednesday, Aug. 12, AZDHS was reporting 148 additional deaths, and 706 new cases from 7,834 tests for a positivity rate of 9%. More than 189,000 Arizonans have contracted the virus and 4,347 have died.

Nationwide, Reuters was reporting more than 5.1 million confirmed cases and 164,598 deaths on Wednesday, Aug. 12. The U.S. leads the world in COVID-19 cases and deaths.

The Kingman service area includes Kingman, New-Kingman/Butler, Chloride, Valentine, Meadview, Wikieup, Yucca, White Hills, Hackberry, Peach Springs, Dolan Springs, Golden Valley, Hualapai tribal areas, Oatman and Valle Vista.

Face masks are mandatory when entering businesses in Kingman until Sept. 1.

To curtail the spread of the coronavirus, public health officials recommend maintaining a distance of 6 feet from others, washing hands thoroughly and frequently, and wearing a mask in public to protect others when social distancing isn’t possible.

For some people, the coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough, or no symptoms at all. For others, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia. Some individuals with the virus exhibit no symptoms, but are still capable of transmitting the disease.

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