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Thu, Feb. 25

Another 10 Mohave County residents die from complications of COVID-19

KINGMAN – Another 10 families are in mourning in Mohave County this Christmas, as the coronavirus continues to exact a terrible toll.

The Mohave County Department of Public Health reported the 10 new deaths, along with 441 new confirmed cases of COVID-19, on Tuesday and Wednesday, Dec. 22-23.

With the announcement, the county’s confirmed COVID-19 case count eclipsed the 10,000 mark, a dubious milestone reached during the largest surge in cases and deaths the county has experienced to date.

With two days left in the reporting week, the county had already recorded 13 deaths and 1,061 new cases, and is likely to set a new weekly record for new cases for a fifth consecutive week. The surge mirrors statewide and nationwide trends.

All of the new deaths involved residents age 50 or older, and two of the deceased patients were residents of the Kingman medical service area. Both were adults in the 70-79 age range. There were five deaths in the Bullhead City medical service area, which includes Fort Mohave, and three in the Lake Havasu City service area.

Of the 441 new cases reported Tuesday and Wednesday, 90 were in the Kingman area, including 25 in the more-vulnerable age groups over age 60. There were 13 new local cases ages 60-69, 10 ages 70-79 and one each ages 80-89 and 90-plus. Five of the new patients were children or teens, including three ages 0-10 and two ages 11-19. There were also 16 cases each in the 20-29 and 30-39 age brackets, plus 14 ages 50-59 and 13 ages 40-49.

The Lake Havasu City service area logged the most new cases in the two-day span with 165, followed by Bullhead City with 165 and the Arizona Strip with 22. The location of one new case was not identified.

The surge has been ongoing for several months, and intensified in December.

The county suffered a record 1,313 new cases, as well as 12 deaths, in the week ending Friday, Dec. 18.

Mohave County health officials had reported 1,221 new cases in the week ending Friday, Dec. 11, about 300 more than the old weekly record reported the previous week. There were also 12 deaths. In the week ending Friday, Dec. 4, the county logged 924 new cases with seven additional deaths, while 10 deaths and 538 new cases were reported in the week ending Nov. 27.

During the past two months, as cases rose and community spread worsened, COVID-19 safety measures were loosened locally.

Kingman City Council rescinded a mandate requiring face masks to be worn in businesses in the city. Mohave County stopped requiring masks inside county-owned buildings, rescinded the official public health emergency proclamation, and lowered the fines against businesses that don’t comply with coronavirus safety measures in Gov. Doug Ducey’s executive orders.

County health officials have logged 10,320 coronavirus cases since the first case was reported on March 24, while the Arizona Department of Health Services has logged 10,927 cases in the county. The county has counted 289 deaths, while the state reports 316.

According to the county’s tabulations, Bullhead City has suffered the most with 102 deaths, followed by Kingman with 75, Lake Havasu City with 63 and Fort Mohave with 17. The locations of another 32 deaths are not specified on the county website.

Broken down by cities and communities, the county has recorded 2,881 cases for Lake Havasu City, 2,801 for Bullhead City, 2,357 for Kingman, 797 for Fort Mohave, 409 for Mohave Valley, 281 for Beaver Dam/Littlefield, 289 for Golden Valley and 55 for Topock. The locations of another 449 cases are not specified.

The age of the average COVID-19 victim in the county is 75.8 years, while the age of the average patient is 47.5 years. The case fatality rate in the county is 2.8%, meaning 28 of every 1,000 individuals who have contracted the virus have died. Approximately 4.8% of Mohave County residents are known to have been infected since the start of the pandemic. A slim majority of those infected – 51% – have been age 49 or younger.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, 6,529 residents have recovered from the virus, according to county health officials.

According to daily testing data from AZDHS for Wednesday, Dec. 23, there were 228 new cases of the virus in the county from 601 tests for a positivity rate of 38%.

The positivity rate in the county was 33% (241/732) on Wednesday, Dec. 16; 48% (283/592) on Thursday, Dec. 17; 23% (229/990) on Friday, Dec. 18; 26% (172/670) on Saturday, Dec. 19; 46% (297/643) on Sunday, Dec. 20; 51% (241/468) on Monday, Dec. 21; and 41% (224/553) on Tuesday, Dec. 22.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, 66,250 tests have been conducted on county residents, according to AZDHS. Of the 58,935 diagnostic tests for the actual virus, 12.5% have been positive. Of the 7,315 serology tests conducted on county residents, which detect only if the individual had the virus in the past, 8.7% have returned positive.

Statewide on Thursday, Dec. 24, AZDHS was reporting 115 new deaths from complications of COVID-19, and 7,046 new cases from 23,378 tests for a positivity rate of 30%. More than 480,000 Arizonans have contracted the virus and 8,294 have died.

Nationwide, Johns Hopkins University of Medicine was reporting more than 18.4 million confirmed cases and 326,232 deaths on Thursday, Dec. 24. The U.S. has experienced about one-fourth of all COVID-19 cases in the world.

Globally, Johns Hopkins was reporting 1,732,961 deaths from more than 78 million confirmed cases on Thursday, Dec. 24.

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.

To curtail virus spread, public health officials recommend maintaining a distance of at least 6 feet from others, washing hands thoroughly and frequently, and wearing a face covering in public when social distancing isn’t possible. Residents are also advised to get a flu vaccine to help avoid stress on the health care system.

For some patients, the virus causes 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.

Face coverings are no longer required in businesses in Kingman, Bullhead City and Lake Havasu City by municipal proclamations, but many individual businesses still require masks. Face coverings are also required inside buildings owned by the City of Kingman and Kingman Regional Medical Center.

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