Mohave County logs 745 COVID cases and 16 deaths in 3 days

KINGMAN – The Mohave County Department of Public Health has revealed that 745 more Mohave County residents have been infected with COVID-19, and 16 more have died from complications of the virus.

The deaths and new cases were logged in a report that covered the three-day period between noon on Monday, Jan. 3 and noon on Thursday, Jan. 6.

While the county has not yet been informed of the presence of the highly contagious omicron coronavirus variant, the explosion in recent cases would indicate that the variant has already arrived.

Of the 16 new deaths, nine were logged in the Kingman medical service area, with all of the patients falling into the age groups over 50 that have accounted for 95% of the deaths in the county since the beginning of the pandemic. There were four fatalities reported in the 60-69 age group, plus two each ages 70-79 and 80-89, and one age 50-59.

The other deaths recorded in the county included five from the Lake Havasu City service area, and two from the Bullhead City service area. All of the deceased were ages 60 or older.

Of the 745 new cases, 264 were logged in the Kingman area, including 82 over age 50. There were 33 new cases ages 50-59, 28 ages 60-69, 14 ages 70-79 and seven ages 80-89.

Another 46 local cases were attributed to children and teens, including 27 ages 11-19 and 19 ages 0-10. There were also 50 new cases ages 20-29, 44 ages 40-49, and 42 ages 30-39.

The Bullhead City area suffered the most new cases of the county’s four medical service areas with 277. There were also 171 new cases in the Lake Havasu City area, 23 in the communities in the Arizona Strip, and 10 in undetermined locations in the county.

The county is a high-transmission area, with 1,002 new virus cases logged in the week ending Monday, Jan. 3, which was nearly double the county-wide case count in the previous week.

The number of new virus cases and deaths in the previous week ending at noon on Wednesday, Dec. 29 was 526 new cases and 22 additional deaths.

The county’s low vaccination rate is cited as a primary reason for the surge in cases by local health officials.

According to the Arizona Department of Health Services, only 44.2% 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 65.8% logged statewide. More than one-third of county residents – 77,153 of about 213,000 – are fully vaccinated.

According to the county’s website, Kingman has suffered the most with 283 coronavirus deaths. It is followed by Bullhead City with 272, Lake Havasu City with 212, Golden Valley with 63, Fort Mohave with 89 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 10,085 cases in Kingman, 9,376 cases in Lake Havasu City, 8,614 in Bullhead City, 2,918 in Fort Mohave, 1,965 in Golden Valley, 1,342 in Mohave Valley and 678 in Beaver Dam/Littlefield/Colorado City. There have also been 247 cases in Topock, 210 in Dolan Springs, 106 in Meadview and 88 in Yucca. The locations of the remaining cases are not specified.

The age of the average COVID-19 victim in the county is 72.2 years, while the average patient is 45.3 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 17% of Mohave County residents are known to have been infected.

County health officials have logged 36,551 coronavirus cases since the first local case was reported on March 24, 2020, while the Arizona Department of Health Services has recorded 40,269 cases in the county. The county counts 1,045 deaths, while the state reports 1,201.

According to county health officials, 29,448 county residents are known to have recovered from the disease since the beginning of the pandemic.

Daily testing data from AZDHS for Wednesday, Jan. 5 revealed 323 new cases from 1,231 tests for a positivity rate of 26%.

Since the beginning of the pandemic 336,534 tests have been conducted on county residents and 12.7% have been positive, according to AZDHS.

Statewide on Thursday, Jan. 6 AZDHS was reporting 16 additional deaths and 10,679 new cases from 56,223 tests for a positivity rate of 19%. More than 1,430,000 Arizonans have contracted the virus and 24,586 have died.

Nationwide, Johns Hopkins University of Medicine was reporting more than 58 million confirmed cases and 833,435 deaths the morning of Thursday, Jan. 6.

Globally, Johns Hopkins was reporting more than 5.4 million deaths from more than 299 million confirmed cases on Thursday, Jan. 6.

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.

Also, the news release reported that there have been no cases of the worrisome new omicron virus variant logged in the county. The health department is monitoring the situation.

County health officials also reported that they are “aware of the omicron variant and are monitoring the situation.” The coronavirus variant surfaced in southern Africa, and features dozens of new mutations which appear to be more transmittable than previous versions of the virus and could be more resistant to existing vaccines, although the verdict is still out. It has now spread to dozens of nations, and about 40 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.

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 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. 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.

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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