Mohave County sets new monthly record for COVID-19 cases
KINGMAN – Mohave County set a new monthly record for new COVID-19 cases, with 7,509 cases recorded through Tuesday, Jan. 18. The previous mark was set during the height of the winter surge in January 2021, with 5,402 cases logged in the entire month.
The figures were revealed in an update issued by the Mohave County Department of Public Health on Tuesday. The report covered the five days from noon on Thursday, Jan. 13 to noon on Tuesday, and mimics the rise in case counts and deaths being experienced statewide and nationwide due to the highly contagious omicron variant of the virus.
And it’s probably going to get worse, according to county Public Health Director Denise Burley.
“Based on data from the CDC’s forecasting and virus surveillance reports, experts predict that over the next two to three weeks the state of Arizona is expected to hit a case peak,” Burley said. “As the Omicron variant becomes more prevalent in the county, we anticipate an increase in confirmed cases based on increased transmissibility.”
The Kingman area is being hit particularly hard. In the most recent county reporting period – a span of just five days – 1,527 Kingman residents contracted COVID-19 and nine died from complications of the disease. Kingman Regional Medical Center’s website was reporting Wednesday, Jan. 19 that 63 patients are hospitalized with COVID, and 12 of those are in the intensive care unit.
Countywide, MCDPH logged 3,571 new cases during the five-day period – more than ever recorded in an entire week in the county since the beginning of the pandemic – and 12 deaths.
The newly deceased Kingman-area patients included one each ages 30-39, 70-79 and 80-89. There were also four deaths in the 60-69 age bracket, and two age 90 or older. It raised the death toll in Kingman, by the county’s calculations, to 297 since the start of the pandemic. The other deaths in the county included a 70-79-year-old Lake Havasu City area resident, and two from the Bullhead City service area – one each ages 50-59 and 90-plus.
Of the 1,527 new local cases, 547 were in the age groups over 50 that have accounted for 95% of the county’s 1,083 coronavirus deaths. There were 209 cases ages 50-59, 182 ages 60-69, 117 ages 70-79, 35 ages 80-89 and four age 90 or older.
Another 238 cases were documented in children and teens, including 148 ages 11-19 and 90 ages 0-10. There were also 261 new cases ages 20-29, 260 ages 30-39 and 220 ages 40-49.
Elsewhere in the county there were 1,228 new cases logged in the Bullhead City area, 740 in the Lake Havasu City area, 68 in undetermined areas of the county, and eight in the communities in the Arizona Strip.
The county is a high-transmission area, with 4,861 new cases and 21 deaths confirmed in the eight-day period between noon on Monday, Jan. 10 and noon on Tuesday.
There were 2,111 new virus cases logged by county health officials in the week ending Monday, Jan. 10. That was more than 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 prior week ending at noon on Wednesday, Dec. 29 was just 526 new cases with 22 additional deaths.
The 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% 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 67.5% vaccination rate logged statewide. More than one-third of county residents – 78,080 of about 213,000 – are fully vaccinated.
According to the county’s website, Kingman has suffered the most with 297 coronavirus deaths. It is followed by Bullhead City with 280, Lake Havasu City with 224, Golden Valley with 72, Fort Mohave with 92 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 11,838 cases in Kingman, 10,521 cases in Lake Havasu City, 10,156 in Bullhead City, 3,405 in Fort Mohave, 2,214 in Golden Valley, 1,516 in Mohave Valley and 704 in Beaver Dam/Littlefield/Colorado City. There have also been 274 cases in Topock, 230 in Dolan Springs, 116 in Meadview and 99 in Yucca. The locations of the remaining cases are not specified.
The age of the average COVID-19 victim in the county is 72.1 years, while the average patient is 44.9 years old. The case fatality rate in the county is 2.6%, meaning 26 of every 1,000 individuals who have contracted the virus have died. Approximately 19.7% of Mohave County residents are known to have been infected.
County health officials have logged 42,167 coronavirus cases since the first local case was reported on March 24, 2020, while the Arizona Department of Health Services has recorded 47,386 cases in the county. The county counts 1,083 deaths, while the state reports 1,245.
County health officials say 32,292 county residents are known to have recovered from the disease.
Daily testing data from AZDHS for Wednesday, Jan. 19 revealed 714 new cases from 1,966 tests in the county for a positivity rate of 36%.
Mohave County’s positivity rate was 25% (254/1,026) on Wednesday, Jan. 12; 31% (522/1,695 on Thursday, Jan. 13; 23% (567/2,423) on Friday, Jan. 14; 31% (386/1,238) on Sunday, Jan. 16; 70% (891/1,280) on Monday, Jan. 17; and 34% (642/1,873) on Tuesday, Jan. 18.
Since the beginning of the pandemic 358,889 tests have been conducted on county residents and 14.1% have been positive, according to AZDHS.
Statewide on Thursday, Jan. 20 AZDHS was reporting 13 additional deaths and 17,724 new cases from 74,556 tests for a positivity rate of 23%. More than 1,683,915 Arizonans have contracted the virus and 25,429 have died.
Nationwide, Johns Hopkins University of Medicine was reporting more than 68 million confirmed cases and 857,781 deaths the morning of Thursday, Jan. 20.
Globally, Johns Hopkins was reporting nearly 5.6 million deaths from more than 338 million confirmed cases on Thursday, Jan. 20.
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.