COVID-19 kills 6 more Kingman-area patients, 43 more infected

KINGMAN – Despite the availability of life-saving vaccines and treatments, six more Kingman-area residents have perished from complications of COVID-19. The deaths, along with 43 new confirmed cases in the Kingman medical service area, were revealed Friday, Dec. 3, in a report from the Mohave County Department of Public Health that covered the two-day period between noon on Wednesday, Dec. 1 and noon on Friday.

Kingman remains the epicenter of the pandemic in the county, logging more than half of the deaths and the most new cases among the county’s four medical services areas.

The newly deceased in the local area again involved mostly elderly patients. That includes three new deaths in the 80-89 age bracket, and one each in the 40-49, 60-69 and 70-79 age groups. The other four deaths in the county were logged in the Bullhead City service area – two ages 70-79 and one each ages 60-69 and 80-89.

Of the 43 new cases logged in the Kingman area, more than two-thirds involved patients in the age groups over 50 that have accounted for 95% of the deaths in the county since the beginning of the pandemic. There were 10 new cases ages 50-59, eight ages 60-69 and six each ages 70-79 and 80-89. There were also six new cases ages 40-49, four ages 20-29, two ages 30-39 and one age 11-19.

Elsewhere in the county, 40 new cases were registered in the Bullhead City service area, 18 in the Lake Havasu City area, four in the communities in the Arizona Strip and two in undetermined locations in the county.

In another new development, the county reported that the local health department is “aware of the omicron variant and is monitoring the situation.” The coronavirus variant surfaced in southern Africa, and features dozens of new mutations which may be more transmittable that previous versions of the virus and could be more resident to existing vaccines, although the verdict is still out. It has now spread to dozens of nations, and more than 10 states in the U.S.

“We are expecting more specific information, clarity and guidance from the CDC (federal Centers for Disease Control and prevention soon. We will share it with the public when it’s made available,” the county wrote.

In another matter, local health officials have “been notified of a scam in which citizens receive a call from a person claiming to be an employee of the Mohave County Department of Public Health and offering home visits to administer COVID-19 vaccine.

“The MCDPH does not and will not directly contact residents to offer home-based COVID-19 vaccination appointments,” the news release noticed.

Kingman now leads the county’s four medical service areas with 9,105 cases, and is second in the number of deaths with 239.

The number of new deaths countrywide had fallen dramatically over the past week, but the 10 deaths reported Friday indicates a rebound. Community spread of the coronavirus in the county remains high, with 416 new cases and four deaths reported in the seven-day period ending at noon on Wednesday, Dec. 1, but the weekly county has been decreasing over the last month.

That 416 and four deaths compares to 443 new cases and 21 deaths in the week ending Wednesday, Nov. 24; and 509 new cases and 12 deaths reported in the week ending Wednesday, Nov. 17. There were 549 new cases and eight deaths reported by county health officials in the week ending Wednesday, Nov. 10.

Mohave County remains a high-transmission area, with the county’s low vaccination rate cited as a primary reason by local health officials.

According to the Arizona Department of Health Services, only 42.4% of eligible county residents have received a COVID-19 vaccine, which have proven effective at preventing the disease and lessening the severity of breakthrough illnesses. That places Mohave far below the 62.8% logged statewide. More than one-third of county residents – 75,176 of about 213,000 – are fully vaccinated.

According to the county’s website, Bullhead City has suffered the most with 251 coronavirus deaths. It is followed by Kingman with 239, Lake Havasu City with 198, Golden Valley with 49, Fort Mohave with 86 and Mohave Valley with 32. The locations of the remaining deaths are not specified by the county on its website.

Broken down by cities and communities, the county has recorded 9,105 cases in Kingman, 8,482 cases in Lake Havasu City, 7,735 in Bullhead City, 2,677 in Fort Mohave, 1,762 in Golden Valley, 1,221 in Mohave Valley and 578 in Beaver Dam/Littlefield/Colorado City. There have also been 225 cases in Topock, 174 in Dolan Springs, 93 in Meadview and 79 in Yucca. The locations of the remaining cases are not specified.

The age of the average COVID-19 victim in the county is 72.6 years, while the average patient is 45.3 years old. 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 15.3% of Mohave County residents are known to have been infected.

County health officials have logged 32,934 coronavirus cases since the first local case was reported on March 24, 2020, while the Arizona Department of Health Services has recorded 36,550 cases in the county. The county counts 921 deaths, while the state reports 1,056.

“The county only reports confirmed COVID-19 cases and deaths, while the state which reports probables as well. Therefore, the county’s numbers and those from the state are not the same,” the county wrote in the news release, explaining the discrepancy.

According to county health officials, 28,034 county residents are known to have recovered from the disease since the beginning of the pandemic.

Daily testing data from AZDHS for Friday, Dec. 3 revealed 153 new cases from 1,309 tests for a positivity rate of 12.4%.

The positivity rate was 39% (122/325) on Monday, Nov. 29; 22% (128/590) on Tuesday, Nov. 30; 12% (138/1,137) on Wednesday, Dec. 1; and 12% 106/915) on Thursday, Dec. 2.

Since the beginning of the pandemic 312,991 tests have been conducted on county residents and 12.4% have been positive, according to AZDHS.

Statewide on Saturday, Dec. 4 AZDHS was reporting 164 additional deaths and 6,043 new cases from 57,124 tests for a positivity rate of 11%. More than 1,288,000 Arizonans have contracted the virus and 22,561 have died.

Nationwide, Johns Hopkins University of Medicine was reporting nearly 49 million confirmed cases and 787,705 deaths the morning of Saturday, Dec. 4.

Globally, Johns Hopkins was reporting more than 5.2 million deaths from more than 265 million confirmed cases on Saturday, Dec. 4.

Vaccines are readily available at area pharmacies, physician offices and the Kingman Regional Medical Center COVID Services office at the corner of Stockton Hill Road and Detroit Avenue.

Residents age 5 and up can now be vaccinated, and booster shots are available for all persons age 18 and older if it’s been six months since they received their second Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, or two months since they’ve received the Johnson and Johnson vaccine.

To curtail virus spread, public health officials recommend that the unvaccinated maintain a distance of at least 6 feet from others, wash their hands thoroughly and frequently, and wear a face covering when social distancing isn’t possible.

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, including those who have been fully vaccinated, can exhibit no symptoms, but are still capable of transmitting the disease.

The Kingman medical service area includes Kingman, New-Kingman/Butler, Chloride, Valentine, Meadview, Wikieup, Yucca, White Hills, Hackberry, Peach Springs, Valle Vista and Oatman.

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