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Sun, Feb. 28

COVID-19 kills 12 Mohave County residents

KINGMAN – Even as the new case count continues to decline in Mohave County, the coronavirus continues to take a heavy toll on older residents.

Another 12 deaths were announced by the Mohave County Department of Public Health on Tuesday and Wednesday, Feb. 16-17.

The Bullhead City medical service area was particularly hard-hit, with nine of the 12 recorded deaths, all in the age groups over 60, including five in the 70-79 age bracket.

One of the deaths was in the Kingman service area, an adult in the 80-89 age group. The Lake Havasu City service area suffered two new deaths, one adult each age 60-69 and 70-79.

Meanwhile, the number of new cases continues on a downward trajectory, which means deaths will likely decline in coming weeks.

County health officials reported 76 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday and Wednesday, including 31 in the Kingman area, the most of the county’s four medical service areas.

The local cases included 14 adults in the over-60 age groups, which are typically more vulnerable to complications of the virus. There were nine cases ages 60-69, two each ages 70-79 and 90-plus, and one age 80-89.

Also in the Kingman area, there were four cases each ages 20-29 and 30-39, three each ages 40-49 and 50-59, two ages 11-19 and one age 0-10.

There were also 21 new cases in the Bullhead City service area, 20 in the Lake Havasu City service area, three in the Arizona Strip and one in an undetermined location.

There have been 247 new cases and 16 deaths in the past six reporting days in the county, compared to 459 new cases and 35 deaths reported in the seven-day period ending at noon on Thursday, Feb. 11. There were 1,033 new cases and 35 deaths in the seven-day period ending at noon on Thursday, Feb. 4, and 986 cases and 26 deaths in the prior seven days.

Mohave County Public Health Director Denise Burley, in a report to the county board of supervisors on Tuesday, Feb. 16, credited increased vigilance, and time passing since the holidays, for the improvement.

“We are through with the holidays and family gatherings,” Burley said. She added that the county experienced a lot of deaths in recent months and she believes those deaths encouraged people to wear masks and do more social distancing.

The county is coming off a deadly month with local public health officials reporting 153 deaths in January. That amounts to nearly one-third of the deaths recorded by the county since the beginning of the pandemic.

Vaccines are now being administered in the county, but remain in short supply and are not yet available to the general public. The county webpage listing vaccination providers, and contact and appointment information for eligible groups, including age 75-and-over, can be found at https://bit.ly/39gxPYJ. Vaccinations expanded to include the 65-74 age group beginning Wednesday, Feb. 17.

According to the county’s tabulations, Bullhead City has suffered the most with 162 coronavirus deaths, followed by Lake Havasu City with 130, Kingman with 127, Fort Mohave with 37, Golden Valley with 27 and Mohave Valley with 18. 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 5,488 cases for Lake Havasu City, 4,559 for Bullhead City, 4,130 for Kingman, 1,504 for Fort Mohave, 1,057 for Golden Valley, 713 for Mohave Valley and 411 for Beaver Dam/Littlefield/Colorado City. There have also been 130 cases in Topock, 45 in Dolan Springs, 44 in Meadview and 32 in Yucca. The locations of the remaining cases are not specified.

The age of the average COVID-19 victim in the county is 75.5 years, while the age of the average patient is 47.7 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 8.7% of Mohave County residents are known to have been infected.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, 11,999 residents have recovered from the virus, according to county health officials.

County health officials have logged 18,606 coronavirus cases since the first local case was reported on March 24, 2020, while the Arizona Department of Health Services has recorded 20,695 cases in the county. The county has counted 530 deaths, while the state reports 618.

According to daily testing data from AZDHS for Wednesday, Feb. 17 there were 71 new cases of COVID-19 in Mohave County from 222 tests for a positivity rate of 32%.

The positivity rate in the county was 26% (74/284) on Wednesday, Feb. 10; 15% (57/382) on Thursday, Feb. 11; 18% (74/414) on Friday, Feb. 5; 17% (49/289) on Saturday, Feb. 13; 23% (41/179) on Sunday, Feb. 14; 37% (28/75) on Monday, Feb. 15; and 12% (21/170) on Tuesday, Feb. 16.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, 91,701 tests have been conducted on county residents, according to AZDHS. Of the 83,229 diagnostic tests for the actual virus, 17% have been positive. Of the 8,472 serology tests conducted on county residents, which detect only if the individual had the virus in the past, 15.7% have returned positive.

Statewide on Thursday, Feb. 18, AZDHS was reporting 213 new deaths and 1,143 new cases from 6,742 tests for a positivity rate of 17%. More than 802,000 Arizonans have contracted the virus and 15,276 have died.

Nationwide, Johns Hopkins University of Medicine was reporting more than 27.8 million confirmed cases and 490,775 deaths the morning of Thursday, Feb. 18. The U.S. has experienced about one-fourth of all COVID-19 cases in the world, and about one-fifth of all deaths.

Globally, Johns Hopkins was reporting 2,432,976 deaths from more than 110 million confirmed cases on Thursday, Feb. 18.

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 prevent 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 all federally owned buildings, as well as buildings owned by the City of Kingman and Kingman Regional Medical Center.

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