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Sat, Oct. 16

COVID deaths rising, but cases falling, in Mohave County

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KINGMAN – Eight deaths in two days from COVID-19 were reported in Mohave County by the county Department of Public Health on Wednesday, Sept. 22. There were also 156 new cases announced in the report that covered the two-day period between noon on Monday, Sept. 20 and noon on Wednesday.

That ran the totals in the seven-day period ending at noon Wednesday to 542 new cases and 21 deaths, indicating a reduction in cases but an increase in deaths over the prior seven-day period, in which 619 cases and 14 deaths were recorded.

Two of the eight deaths announced Wednesday, as well as 67 new cases, were reported in the Kingman area, which logged the most new cases of the county’s four medical service areas.

Six of the eight new deaths involved patients under the age of 60. The newly deceased in the Kingman area included one patient each age 40-49 and 60-69. The Bullhead City service area suffered four deaths, including three ages 50-59 and one age 70-79.

The final two deaths – one patient each age 40-49 and 50-59 – were logged in the Lake Havasu City service area.

Of the 67 new Kingman cases, nearly one-third involved children and teens, including 14 ages 11-19 and six ages 0-10.

Another 15 cases involved individuals in the age groups over 50, which have accounted for 95% of the COVID deaths countywide since the beginning of the pandemic. There were also 13 cases ages 30-39, 10 ages 20-29 and nine ages 40-49.

Elswhere in the county, 61 new cases were reported in the Bullhead City service area, and 25 new cases in the Lake Havasu City area. There were also two new cases in the communities in the Arizona Strip, and one in an undetermined area of the county.

While COVID-19 cases nationwide are starting to trend downward, Mohave County is still a high-transmission area. “Well over 90% of all those who are hospitalized were not vaccinated,” the county wrote in a news release this month.

The local surge in cases and deaths is attributed by local health officials to low vaccination rates and the presence of the highly contagious delta coronavirus variant.

The 543 new cases and 21 deaths in the seven days ending Wednesday compares to 619 new cases and 14 deaths in the county in the week ending at noon on Wednesday, Sept. 15. There were 477 new cases and 16 deaths in the seven-day period ending Wednesday, Sept. 8; and 637 cases and 11 deaths in the week ending Wednesday, Sept. 1.

According to the Arizona Department of Health Services, only 43.3% of eligible county residents have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, which have proven effective at preventing the disease and lessening the severity of breakthrough illnesses.

That places Mohave 12th out of 15 Arizona counties for receiving one dose of a vaccine, and is far below the 57.5% logged statewide. More than one-third of county residents – 78,639 of about 213,000 – are fully vaccinated, but that’s the lowest rate among the state’s 15 counties.

According to the county’s website, Bullhead City has suffered the most with 228 coronavirus deaths. It is followed by Kingman with 195, Lake Havasu City with 178, Golden Valley with 41, and Mohave Valley and Fort Mohave with 28 apiece. 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 7,423 cases for Lake Havasu City, 7,047 for Kingman, 6,653 for Bullhead City, 2,336 for Fort Mohave, 1,486 for Golden Valley, 1,087 for Mohave Valley and 512 for Beaver Dam/Littlefield/Colorado City. There have also been 197 cases in Topock, 90 in Dolan Springs, 68 in Meadview and 62 in Yucca. The locations of the remaining cases are not specified.

The age of the average COVID-19 victim in the county is 73.3 years, while the average patient is 45.5 years old. The case fatality rate in the county is 2.9%, meaning 29 of every 1,000 individuals who have contracted the virus have died. Approximately 12.9% of Mohave County residents are known to have been infected.

County health officials have logged 27,694 coronavirus cases since the first local case was reported on March 24, 2020, while the Arizona Department of Health Services has recorded 30,677 cases in the county. The county counts 795 deaths, while the state reports 911. County health officials report that 23,751 county residents are known to have recovered from the disease since the beginning of the pandemic.

According to daily testing data from AZDHS for Wednesday, Sept. 22 there were 143 new cases from 1,277 tests in Mohave County for a positivity rate of 11%.

The positivity rate was 12% (148/1,284) on Wednesday, Sept. 15; 9% (86/940) on Thursday, Sept. 16; 13% (122/932) on Friday, Sept. 17; 16% on Sunday, Sept. 19; 24% (90/373) on Monday, Sept. 20; and 17% 9105/617) on Tuesday, Sept. 21.

Since the beginning of the pandemic 264,982 tests have been conducted on county residents and 12.1 % have been positive, according to AZDHS.

Statewide on Thursday, Sept. 23 AZDHS was reporting 69 new deaths and 3,013 new cases from 40,990 tests for a positivity rate of 7%. Nearly 1,076,000 Arizonans have contracted the virus and 19,727 have died.

Nationwide, Johns Hopkins University of Medicine was reporting more than 42.5 million confirmed cases and 681,594 deaths the morning of Thursday, Sept. 23.

Globally, Johns Hopkins was reporting 4,722,586 deaths from more than 230 million confirmed cases on Thursday, Sept. 23.

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

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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