Gila County has seen a sudden increase in COVID-19 positive cases in the Payson, Star Valley and Pine areas, according to a June 25 report from the Gila County Health and Emergency Management Department.

The COVID-19 disease investigators have confirmed 31 new cases in the last two weeks. These cases have caused an increase in emergency department visits and hospitalizations, including intensive care admissions.

The recent increase has been discovered in non-vaccinated individuals. Gila County Health and Emergency Management, the Arizona Department of Health Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, continue to recommend COVID-19 vaccinations for those ages 12 and up. COVID-19 vaccines are free and widely available.

If you are not vaccinated for COVID-19, our recommendation is to adhere to all previous guidance given to mitigate the spread of this virus. Maintain social distancing, avoid large gatherings, wear a mask when in public, maintain proper hygiene and stay home when you are feeling ill.

For COVID-19 vaccinations please call the Gila County Vaccine Hotline, 928-910-4009.

For COVID-19 testing in northern Gila County please contact the Gila County Health Department Testing Hotline at 928-200-7668.

Contact the reporter at tmcquerrey@payson.com

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