COVID cases falling, but Mohave County residents keep on dying
KINGMAN – The Kingman medical service area continues to suffer from the coronavirus pandemic, but the number of new cases continue to decline in Mohave County after records were set with the arrival of the omicron variant.
The Kingman area experienced three – including one under the age of 50 – of the 11 deaths reported by the Mohave County Department of Public Health on Monday, Feb. 7. The report covered the four-day period between noon on Thursday, Feb. 3 and noon on Monday, Feb. 7.
The Kingman-area deaths included one age 40-49 and two in the 70-79 age groups.
County-wide, the Bullhead City area logged seven of the deaths among the county’s four medical service areas. There were three Bullhead City-area deaths age 70-79, and one each ages 50-59, 60-69, 80-89 and 90-plus.
The final death was an adult patient age 70-79 from the Lake Havasu City area.
Of the 554 new cases in the county’s report, 194 were logged in the Kingman area. Of the Kingman cases, 78 were reported 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 also 28 cases each ages 50-59 and 60-69, 17 ages 70-79, three ages 90-plus and two ages 80-89.
Another 26 local cases were recorded among children and teens, including 16 ages 0-10 and 10 ages 11-19. There were also 40 cases ages 30-39, 30 ages 20-29 and 20 ages 40-49.
The Bullhead City area experienced the most new cases of the county’s four medical service areas with 242. Another 109 cases were confirmed in the Lake Havasu City service area, five in the communities in the Arizona Strip and four in undetermined locations in the county.
New cases and deaths are declining in the county, with 1,072 new cases and 15 deaths logged in the week ending Monday, Feb. 7. Mohave County had set a new monthly record for new COVID-19 cases in January with more than 14,000 cases recorded. The previous mark was set during the height of the winter surge in January 2021, with 5,402 cases logged in the entire month.
While the county remains a high-transmission area – the number of new cases had doubled for three consecutive weeks before declining to 1,484 cases and 14 deaths logged in the week ending Monday, Jan. 31 – cases are now down dramatically.
There were 4,861 new cases and 21 deaths confirmed in the eight-day period between noon on Monday, Jan. 10 and noon on Tuesday, Jan. 18. There were 2,111 new virus cases logged by county health officials in the week ending Monday, Jan. 10; 1,002 new cases and seven deaths in the week ending Jan. 3; and 526 new cases and 22 deaths in the week ending Wednesday, Dec. 29.
Mohave County’s dismal vaccination rate has contributed to the surge in new cases. Breakthrough cases among vaccinated patients represented less than 10% of all cases in the county in December.
AZDHS reports that only 45.7% 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 68.8% vaccination rate logged statewide. Nearly half of county residents – 94,777 of about 213,000 – are fully vaccinated.
According to the county’s website, Kingman has suffered the most with 316 coronavirus deaths.
It is followed by Bullhead City with 293, Lake Havasu City with 231, Golden Valley with 76, Fort Mohave with 94 and Mohave Valley with 33. 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 14,409 cases in Kingman, 12,096 in Bullhead City, 12,049 cases in Lake Havasu City, 4,125 in Fort Mohave, 2,554 in Golden Valley, 1,751 in Mohave Valley and 749 in Beaver Dam/Littlefield/Colorado City.
There have also been 323 cases in Topock, 253 in Dolan Springs, 123 in Meadview and 119 in Yucca. The locations of the remaining cases are not specified.
The age of the average COVID-19 victim in the county is 72 years, while the average patient is 44.7 years old. The case fatality rate in the county is 2.3%, meaning 23 of every 1,000 individuals who have contracted the virus have died. Approximately 23.2% of Mohave County residents are known to have been infected.
County health officials have logged 49,201 coronavirus cases since the first local case was reported on March 24, 2020, while the Arizona Department of Health Services has recorded 55,142 cases in the county. The county counts 1,134 deaths, while the state reports 1,314. Since the beginning of the pandemic, 3,6706 county residents have been hospitalized with the coronavirus. County health officials say 354,658 county residents are known to have recovered from the disease. The state reports probable cases, while the county only reports confirmed cases.
Daily testing data from AZDHS for Monday, Feb. 7 was 26% (344/991) for Mohave County.
The county’s positivity rate was 68% (459/671) on Monday, Jan. 31; 12% on Tuesday, Feb. 1 (84/715); 31% (343/1,097) on Wednesday, Feb. 3; 35% (344/991) on Friday, Feb. 4; and 34% (145/428) on Sunday, Feb. 6.
Since the beginning of the pandemic 382,557 tests have been conducted on county residents and 15.6% have been positive, according to AZDHS.
Statewide on Tuesday, Feb. 8 AZDHS was reporting 183 additional deaths and 3,790 new cases from 25,470 tests for a positivity rate of 15%. More than 1,926,000 Arizonans have contracted the virus and 26,882 have died.
Nationwide, Johns Hopkins University of Medicine was reporting nearly 77 million confirmed cases and 905,875 deaths the morning of Tuesday, Feb. 8.
Globally, Johns Hopkins was reporting more than 5.7 million deaths from more than 398 million confirmed cases on Tuesday, Feb. 8.
County COVID-19 updates are only being issued on Mondays and Thursdays, after the board of supervisors decided to reduce the frequency from daily, and then again from three per week down to twice a week.
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. Treatments for COVID-19 are also now available.
Residents age 5 and up can now be vaccinated, and booster shots are recommended by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for all persons age 12 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.
The CDC is recommending that Americans be inoculated with the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines, due to the slim possibility that blood clotting could result from taking the J&J 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.
Free COVID-19 home test kits are now available from the federal government at COVIDTests.gov. The free kits are limited to four per household.
Free high-quality N95 masks will also be made available to the public at pharmacies and community health centers starting next week.
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.