Mohave County reports record 1,366 new COVID cases in 4-day span

KINGMAN – The highly contagious omicron variant has been detected in Mohave County, and it appears that it’s spreading fast.

County health officials recorded 1,366 new cases of COVID-19 in the four-day period ending at noon on Monday, Jan. 10. That is more new cases than have been logged in any single week since the beginning of the pandemic.

Omicron is said to result in less severe cases, but the death toll seems to say otherwise, with 20 new deaths reported in the four-day span by the Mohave County Department of Public Health.

Seven of the deaths were logged in the Kingman medical service area – four ages 70-79 and three ages 50-59.

The virus continues to target the elderly, with eight deaths logged in the Bullhead City service area, and five in the Lake Havasu City area. All of those deaths occurring in adult patients over the age of 60.

Kingman suffered the most new cases of the county’s four medical service areas with 536, including 216 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 83 new local cases each in the 50-59 and 60-69 age brackets, plus 41 ages 70-79, seven ages 80-89 and two age 90 or older.

Another 82 cases involved children and teens, including 56 ages 11-19 and 26 ages 0-10. There were also 82 new cases ages 20-29, 81 ages 40-49, and 75 ages 30-39.

Elsewhere in the county there were 530 new confirmed cases in the Bullhead City area, 252 in the Lake Havasu City area, 33 in undetermined locations in the county, and 15 in the communities in the Arizona Strip.

The county reported that the omicron variant, which is dominant in parts of the nation, has been detected here.

“Mohave County now has its first case of the omicron variant,” the county wrote in a news release, noting that the Arizona Department of Health Services notified the MCDPH Monday, Jan. 10 that genetic sequencing performed by Total Arizona Omicron Genomes has identified one omicron case from 49 samples submitted by the county.

The news release said that the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says vaccines remain the best public health measure to protect people from COVID-19, slow transmission, and reduce the likelihood of new variants emerging.

The county is a high-transmission area, with 2,111 new virus cases logged in the week ending Monday, Jan. 10.

That is more than double the double the county-wide case count in the previous week, when 1,002 new cases and seven deaths were logged.

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 has contributed to the surge in new cases, according to local health officials.

AZDHS reports that only 44.6% 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 66.5% vaccination rate logged statewide. More than one-third of county residents – 77,545 of about 213,000 – are fully vaccinated.

According to the county’s website, Kingman has suffered the most with 290 coronavirus deaths. It is followed by Bullhead City with 278, Lake Havasu City with 223, Golden Valley with 67, Fort Mohave with 91 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 10,527 cases in Kingman, 9,626 cases in Lake Havasu City, 8,964 in Bullhead City, 3,037 in Fort Mohave, 2,028 in Golden Valley, 1,387 in Mohave Valley and 685 in Beaver Dam/Littlefield/Colorado City. There have also been 258 cases in Topock, 216 in Dolan Springs, 111 in Meadview and 90 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 2.8%, meaning 28 of every 1,000 individuals who have contracted the virus have died. Approximately 17.7% of Mohave County residents are known to have been infected.

County health officials have logged 37,898 coronavirus cases since the first local case was reported on March 24, 2020, while the Arizona Department of Health Services has recorded 41,911 cases in the county. The county counts 1,065 deaths, while the state reports 1,223.

According to county health officials, 29,737 county residents are known to have recovered from the disease since the beginning of the pandemic.

Daily testing data from AZDHS for Monday, Jan. 10 revealed 541 new cases from 1,362 tests for a positivity rate of 40%.

That compares to 181 new cases from 258 tests for a positivity rate of 70% on Monday, Jan 3; 26% (323/1,231) on Wednesday, Jan. 5; 25% (254/1,026) on Thursday, Jan. 6; and 23% (314/1,470) on Friday, Jan. 7.

Since the beginning of the pandemic 342,940 tests have been conducted on county residents and 13% have been positive, according to AZDHS.

Statewide on Tuesday, Jan. 11 AZDHS was reporting 213 additional deaths and 14,160 new cases from 55,845 tests for a positivity rate of 25%. More than 1,505,580 Arizonans have contracted the virus and 24,986 have died.

Nationwide, Johns Hopkins University of Medicine was reporting more than 61 million confirmed cases and 839,520 deaths the morning of Tuesday, Jan. 11.

Globally, Johns Hopkins was reporting nearly 5.5 million deaths from more than 310 million confirmed cases on Tuesday, Jan. 11.

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.

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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