Mohave County’s top health official said the recent surge in covid cases seems to have reached a plateau over the last couple of weeks. But she said the virus is continuing to affect younger populations.
According to the latest numbers from the county, which were released on Friday, there were a total of 664 covid cases during the week of Aug. 7, which was the highest weekly total since January. In the two weeks since the county has received word of 636 and 638 covid cases respectively.
“That is a great sign,” Mohave County Health Director Denise Burley said of the numbers leveling off recently. “It’s nice to see and we hope that will continue, or go down.”
Burley also noted that there has been a rapid increase in cases among school-aged children with a total of 629 cases between the ages of 5 and 18 during the month of August. She said that is 149% more cases in that age group than the county saw in July. In August school age kids had more infections than any other age group, accounting for about 17% of the total cases, while the 30 to 39 age group was second with 14% of the cases during the month.
The average age of those infected with covid has been falling since the start of the year. In January the average age of a positive covid case was 48.1 years, while the average age in August was 38.1 years old. The average age of a Mohave County resident is 51.6 years old, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
Meanwhile, Burely said the number of covid-related hospitalizations has been on the rise in the county since April, and the 157 hospitalized cases were the most since January. She said the average age for hospitalizations throughout the pandemic is 66 years old, but that has been dropping recently and was 61.5 years old during the month of August, with 41.4% of those hospitalized younger than 60.
The average age of those who have died from covid is also decreasing, Burley said. Although the average age of all 751 deaths recorded in the county so far is 73.7 years old, Burley said the average of those who have died of covid since April has been below 70 years old. The average age during August was 67.3 years old. Burley said nearly a quarter of the deaths in August were people under 60 years old.
“That has been a change for us, certainly,” Burley said.
Mohave County’s vaccination rate jumped above 40% when the Arizona Department of Health Services updated its numbers on Monday. ADHS reported 42.3% people have received at least one vaccine dose in Mohave County – a total of 91,683 people. The data dashboard reports 76,044 county residents have been fully vaccinated. But Mohave County’s vaccination rate is still well behind the state average of 56.4% of the population vaccinated.
Burley said the same is true for residents 65 years and older. She said 60.1% of such residents have been vaccinated in Mohave County, but the state average for that age group is over 90% vaccinated.