COVID-19 claims 7 more Mohave County residents
KINGMAN – The death toll from COVID-19 continues to rise in Mohave County, with seven new deaths reported by the Mohave County Department of Public Health on Sunday, July 19, and Monday, July 20.
All of the victims were elderly, and six of the deaths were logged in the Bullhead City service area – two each in the 60-69, 70-79 and 80-89 age brackets. The other death involved an adult from the Kingman service area in the 70-79 age range.
County health officials also reported another 123 new cases over the two-day span, including 111 on Monday.
Thirty of those cases are in the sprawling Kingman service area, with seven of the patients falling into the more-vulnerable age ranges above age 60. Six of the 30 patients are recovering at home, while contact investigations will be conducted to determine the whereabouts of others.
The county has now experienced 2,262 cases, and of those, 1,232 have been logged since June 30 as the contagion spreads throughout the communities. The number of deaths has also been spiking, with 18 of the county’s 108 deaths reported since Friday, July 17.
Due to different manners of reporting and compiling data, state and county statistics vary, with state data for Mohave County showing 29 more cases and nine more deaths than the totals for the pandemic that the county was reporting Monday, July 20.
Bullhead City’s service area, which includes Fort Mohave, has been the hardest hit, with 1,111 confirmed cases and 52 deaths. The Kingman area has suffered just 483 cases, but 46 deaths. Lake Havasu City has had 739 cases and 15 deaths, while 41 cases have been identified in the Arizona Strip.
The county noted in a news release that the case count has risen dramatically in recent weeks in all age groups, and urged residents to exercise caution. “Things might seem more normal now, but we’re simply not there yet,” county health officials wrote.
They recommend residents wear face masks and practice social distancing in public in addition to washing their hands frequently.
In addition to a surge of cases, the county has been experincing high test-positivity rates.
The positivity rate for tests conducted on county residents remains very high. According to daily test data released by the Arizona Department of Health Services covering Monday, July 20, there were 122 new cases from 281 tests for a positivity rate of 43%. That figure is considered high, and indicates that mostly people with symptoms are being tested.
AZDHS was reporting a 27% positivity rate (six cases from 22 tests) on Monday, July 13; a 37% positivity rate (101 cases from 326 tests) on Tuesday, July 14; a 43% rate (63 cases from 145 tests) on Wednesday, July 15; a 48% positivity rate (87 cases from 183 tests) on Thursday, July 16; a positivity rate of 81% (34 cases from 42 tests) on Friday, July 17; a positivity rate of 13% (40 cases from 315 tests) on Saturday, July 18, and a positivity rate of 12% (12 cases from 102 tests) on Sunday, July 19.
According to AZDHS, 15,138 tests have been conducted on county residents since the beginning of the pandemic. Of the 11,942 tests conducted for the actual virus, 11.4% of the individuals have tested positive. Of the 3,196 serology tests, which determine only if the individual had the virus in the past, 4.3% have been positive.
Statewide on Tuesday, July 21, AZDHS reported 3,500 new cases from 15,133 tests for a positivity rate of 23%, and 134 more deaths. More than 148,000 Arizonans have contracted the virus, and 2,918 have died, with an increase of more than 45,000 cases and 850 deaths in the past two weeks.
Nationwide, Reuters was reporting nearly 3.9 million cases and more than 141,000 deaths on Tuesday. 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.
Masks are now mandatory when entering businesses in the cities of Kingman, Lake Havasu and Bullhead until Aug. 1.
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.
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.
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