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Thu, July 09

Mohave County: Growth in COVID-19 cases is ‘alarming’

Kingman – COVID-19 is a growing cause for concern in Mohave County, where the case count and the death toll are surging.

The Mohave County Department of Public Health reported 27 new cases and four more deaths on Thursday and Friday, June 11=12. That makes 73 confirmed cases and eight deaths in a four-day span, and 180 cases in the past 11 days.

The county has now documented 582 cases and 64 deaths since the first coronavirus case was recorded on March 24.

MCDPH called the spike in COVID=19 cases “alarming” in a news release.

“People need to pay attention,” county Public Health Director Denise Burley said.

“We have to do our best to fight this spike and bring it back to something reasonably acceptable. We’re in this for the foreseeable future,” said Byron Steward, the county’s risk and emergency management director.

County health officials noted that the disease is not discriminating by age in the county, with 14 cases in the 0-10 age bracket, 15 cases in the 11-19 age group, and 66 in the 20-29 age range. The age range with the most cases is 30-39, with 88 confirmed cases in the county.

“It’s not only old people or occurrences at long-term facilities. Positives have been confirmed in our county with little children, teens and young professionals,” Burley explained, adding “this is community spread and it’s ongoing.”

Burley and Steward said that some young and middle-aged people may think they don’t have to practice safety measures because most of the deaths have been among the elderly, without realizing that they could be spreading the disease.

The news release said that while the county agrees that businesses should be open, they must remain compliant with social distancing recommendations.

Steward said many businesses reopened “without following the social distancing and other precautionary measures recommended by the governor and all public health experts.”

The news release encourages individuals to stay at home when sick, to wash their hands thorough and regularly, to practice social distancing by staying at least 6 feet from others, and to wear a face mask when social distancing is not possible.

“Not enough are maintaining vigilance in adhering to guidelines mandated by public health officials,” the release noted. “A recent spike in cases as high as 33 in one day reveals the battle with the disease continues without a true end in sight.”

The four newly announced deaths were all elderly county residents, including one patient age 80-89 and another in the 90-plus age bracket from the sprawling Kingman service area. The other deaths involved a Bullhead City-area resident in the 70-79 age range, and a Lake Havasu City patient over the age of 90.

Only four of the 27 new cases reported Thursday and Friday were from the Kingman area, which still leads the county with 247 cases and 38 deaths.

Bullhead City has experienced 210 cases with 16 deaths, while Lake Havasu City has had 115 confirmed cases and 10 deaths. There have also been 10 cases logged in the Arizona Strip.

The county spike mimics a statewide surge. AZDHS was reporting nearly 35,000 cases the afternoon of Saturday, June 13, an increase of about 7,000 in just four days. There were 39 new deaths reported on Friday, June 12, raising the statewide toll to 1,183.

Nationwide, Reuters was reporting nearly 2.1 million cases and 115,000 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.

For most people, the coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For others, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia.

The vast majority of patients recover. According to the World Health Organization, people with mild illness recover in about two weeks, while those with more severe illness may take three to six weeks to recover.

Health officials advise wearing a mask when going out in public to protect others, and maintaining a distance of at least 6 feet from others.

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