COVID-19 cases continue to rise according to Gila County Health & Emergency Management, with 496 confirmed as of Monday, Aug. 3. There have been 377 recoveries and 29 deaths in Gila County — 25 are non-tribal and four are tribal. San Carlos Apache Healthcare reported 484 COVID-19 cases Aug. 3, bringing the county total to 980.

A majority of the deaths, 17, were residents of Rim Country Health & Rehabilitation, 807 W. Longhorn Road.

RCH still has 13 residents with active cases; 30 have recovered and 17 have died, said Tabitha Meyer, administrator at Rim Country Health & Rehabilitation, in a July 30 release. Among the RCH staff, there are five active cases; 27 recoveries and no deaths.

Meyer is happy to report that RCH is experiencing more recovered cases vs. new active cases.

Residents may stay in the isolation unit for 10 to 30, or more, days. Several cases had hospital stays before returning to the isolation unit. They then return confirmed recoveries to their “home” (room) wherein the protocol for health checks and screenings continue. Many are also being scheduled for inpatient rehabilitation therapy to aid in rebuilding strength, and confidence, as residents return to a former schedule.

RCH reports additional deaths occurred since last week’s update. “RCH extends its prayers and heartfelt condolences to our residents’ families. One resident passed in the hospital. RCH makes sure nurses are at a resident’s bedside at end-of-life,” said the release.

“RCH remains committed to the protocols and precautionary measures set forth; and, makes additions when necessary.”

The county reports six deaths because of COVID-19 between July 27 and July 30, all were northern Gila County residents, three were residents at RCH; two others were Payson residents, both with underlying conditions; and one was in Pine, who also had underlying conditions.

Between July 27 and July 30, the county reports there were 68 new cases of COVID-19. Monday, July 27, it reported 24 additional positive cases, with two associated with the RCH outbreak; nine were confirmed in the July 28 report; 20 more were reported on July 29, with two of those associated with the RCH outbreak; and 15 more were confirmed in the July 30 report, with seven associated with RCH.

Contact the reporter at tmcquerrey@payson.com

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