KINGMAN — COVID-19 considerations by Mohave County supervisors of late have mirrored divisiveness evident in all corners of America regarding whether and how the coronavirus should be managed.

In very broad and general terms, Board Chairman Jean Bishop and Sup. Gary Watson have been in the middle of the debate with Sup. Buster Johnson suggesting more restrictions should be considered, if not implemented, while Sups. Hildy Angius and Ron Gould have been at the other end of the spectrum.

Johnson, for example, has expressed interest in increased testing while Angius and Gould have questioned the necessity, practicality and merit of that approach. Another point of contention is mandatory face mask directives, something embraced and endorsed by Denise Burley, the county’s Department of Public Health director.

“I certainly recommend that the county adopt that policy and that is a public health perspective and certainly my recommendation going forward,” Burley said during Thursday’s county COVID-19 management meeting, repeating a request she made earlier in the week.

Gould said the public already is substantially complying with face covering recommendations. He questioned how a mask mandate would be enforced and said it won’t achieve desired results unless dictated within private residences, something he said would be an impractical, “draconian” measure.

Burley said new case numbers keep soaring in the county even though deaths are holding pretty steady at less than 10 per week on average. She said, however, the local rate of death among the infected population is alarming.

“The average mortality rate statewide is 1.8%,” Burley said. “In our county we sit at 5.7%, a little bit higher than we’d like to see of course, and a number we’d like to drop.”

Burley said new infection cases were up 22% last week from the previous week as the death toll stood at 92 people within a county population of about 216,000 people. She said area hospitals have more COVID-19 patients on ventilators, an indicator that more people are more seriously sick than before. 

“This is concerning of course because these are extreme cases,” she said.“You don’t use a ventilator without it being a last resort. They’re very, very hard on people.”

Burley said the crisis in adult care centers across the county has subsided while younger people are fueling community spread of the coronavirus by attending social functions, family gatherings and other events. She said there’s no doubt that new infection cases are incubating from last weekend’s holiday revelry. But she said they aren’t reflected in the current numbers — but will be soon.

“We do anticipate an increase in cases in the wake of the Fourth of July,” Burley said. She said initial infections from the holiday weekend soon should be detected and will likely be more evident mid-to-late next week.

Angius, whose 2nd District includes Bullhead City, revealed last week that she had recovered from what she termed a mild case of COVID-19 after previously testing positive. She noted that her symptoms were minor and that it affected different people differently.

On Thursday, Bishop said the virus had impacted her family.

“There’s been so much that’s been put out there, not only by members of this board, but the public that kind of downplay the seriousness of COVID-19 as being just a flu that we don’t have a vaccination for yet,“ Bishop said.“I want to make the point that when it hits your family, when you lose someone that you love, whether they’re old or they’re young, it becomes more realistic. I think this is a little more serious than what we’re portraying it.”

That her granddaughter contracted COVID-19 when visiting Mexico and brought the threat back home to family made the threat some all the more real, Bishop said.

She yielded to deputy county attorney Jeff Haws to shine additional light on personal tragedy.

Haws struggled to choke back emotion as he spoke of David Bullmore, his 70-year-old uncle, who served the Navy during the Vietnam War. He said a welfare check led to Monday’s discovery of Bullmore, dead in his apartment where he had gone into self-quarantine before knowing for certain he was infected.

Haws said autopsy confirmed COVID-19 and he begged supervisors to do whatever they could to prevent another veteran dying at home alone from the virus. He said his uncle and others need to be remembered as people, not statistics.

(21) comments

Kenn Stark

Still chasing their tales! Stay at home, lockdown, "DO NOT OPEN THE DAM SCHOOLS"! Its pure suicide to do so! Am i getting censored now!

DETOUR > US 66

"Pure suicide to open the schools?" This is a joke right? If your actually serious I just have two questions for you. How many kids under the age of 15 have died from this virus and how many kids have infected adults with this virus? I'll help you out. BOTH numbers are statistically close to zero percent. I'm surprised at the lack of common sense from a lot of local newspaper readers.

kenoj

As a resident and a voter, I and you have to really question the motives and continued taking up a seat on the county board of supervisors by those that are unwilling to do whatever is needed to protect us, all of us. Angius throughout this virus ordeal has voiced displeasure in the testing of people to find out how many are infected, has voiced displeasure in the closures of businesses and had pushed for re-opening even though we were no where close to doing so. I'm openly questioning her motives. What are you afraid of? Is it the possibility of losing donors to any future campaigns? Is it the fear that medical experts in our county might be right and you are wrong? Do certain segments of our county not have the same values as far as staying healthy and more importantly staying alive? All anyone has to do is read the newspaper on a daily basis, or go to the Covid website and see that the numbers of sick and dead are rising and have continued to rise on a daily basis. It is my suggestion to the supervisors, especially Angius, that they stop making this virus a political tool, there is enough of that going on in Washington and start caring a little more about people. Stop worrying about whose feelings you might hurt by doing the right thing in order to keep people safe and alive. People can get over hurt feelings, they cannot get over being dead.

Desert Bat

You sound like you're a couple steps away from house-to-house mandatory testing and vaccinations, which would imply a trust in Government which they do not deserve, believe me.

CBRC

Why are the 2 people so against mandatory orders? So she had a mild case, but not everyone is so lucky!! Bullhead is a hot spot & getting worse, the public can’t get tested & results as daily as I am sure you are!! Try to get a test & results as a normal citizen, let me know how that goes!!!

DETOUR > US 66

Why would any "normal citizen" with zero symptoms and no known exposure with anyone that was sick or even had any "close" encounters with someone at the grocery store or other place of business eagerly volunteer to get tested? Just because the federal govt. health officials told you to? You folks do realize that test will tell you if you have the virus TODAY right and test results "expired" before you ever received them? So unless you are getting tested pretty much on a daily basis like the POTUS taking a test without any symptoms or being around anybody that has the virus you are just wasting everyone's time and resources. And what if you get a "positive" test anyway? They dont treat you at all, just tell you to go home and into lockdown for 2 weeks like you probably already are doing. So just "Stay home and Stay scared" and everything will be OK. At least until you wither away and die from doing nothing other than watching the latest PanicDemic stats and hiding in your house worrying about everyone else.

DETOUR > US 66

Unless you have been "personally" impacted by a close friend or member of your family getting really sick or passing away from this virus, this is MUCH more of a political issue than a health issue. Without even knowing the political party of any of these people I can tell you with about 95% accuracy the "opinions" of every one of them on this issue. Blue Team "Stay home and stay scared, masks worn every where including your house and outside, close nearly everything, kids and teachers remote learning until everyone is vaccinated". Red Team - "Go on about your daily business, masks when the govt. makes you, open everything and send all the kids and teachers back to school on Day 1." And this message to all the BLUE teamers: PLEASE keep this up and keep all the protests, err riots going on and painting slogans all over the streets and ripping down statues you don't like because that will just keep reminding the RED teamers that they value freedom, liberty, the rule of law and free speech for everyon (not just those that agree with the facsists, err BLUE teamers and Orange Man Bad will get re-elected. But at least that way the BLUE team could start up the Impeachment game again right?

Swimagainstthecurrent

You’re silly to make this a political thing and use the comment section of an article about Covid as your soap box. This is real. This virus is killing way too many people. If you’re too simple to understand it, go to the hospital without a mask and tell them your sick. Ask how many ventilators are available. In fact just ask how beds are available. When you’re given the answers, ask yourself why and how this is happening rather than tell yourself that everyone taking up those beds and ventilators is faking it. Let me know if you learn anything.

I can argue all your other attempts at feeble righteousness as well. I’m just too busy.

DETOUR > US 66

"Haws said autopsy confirmed COVID-19 and he begged supervisors to do whatever they could to prevent another veteran dying at home"? Confirmed he HAD the virus of the virus was the CAUSE of death? Those are two very different things. And would you "beg" the supervisors to shut everything down if a veteran might die at home from the "regular" flu? Of course not. Stop with the scare tactics please.

Swimagainstthecurrent

Detour: read the article again. Covid was the cause. Maybe try not to be so argumentative. Try compassion for gods sake.

DETOUR > US 66

I have 100% compassion for those affected by the virus. I also have 100% contempt for everyone (media, politicians, govt. health "experts") that are manipulating and using this situation to get rid of Orange Man Bad. This disease will magically go away on Nov. 4 if Old Man Biden (or whoever replaces him) gets elected POTUS. If OMD wins again, this disease won't go away until Nov. 2024.

BillParks

Well if you want the COVID case numbers to GO down, do as Florida did in the Beginning, CLOSE our Damned Borders to those two main contributors, California AND Nevada.. TO ALL other States until the HIGH numbers dwindle down. Cant expect anything GOOD with open to Public borders...

plukasiak

This is just stupid. October is the beginning of flu season -- and there is an excellent chance that people infected with both a flu virus and covid-19 will face far greater consequences than either disease alone. And because the symptoms are so similar, health care providers will wind up having to change ALL their PPE (masks, shields, gloves, gowns, etc) for each new patient that shows up until tests reveal the cause of the symptoms in order to avoid cross contamination. We need to act immediate, and take draconian action to shut down the spread of COVID-19 in the same way the EU has done -- and only then slowly reopen the economy with the appropriate testing and contact tracing regimens.

tigreyes

Don 't send the kids back to school unless it is safe & it is not safe right now. Kids will take there masks off & gather around. There kids. it is not safe for the kids & there parents & grandparents. Life is more important than the economy. You can't get life back but the economy can come back.

DETOUR > US 66

"Kids will take there masks off & gather around?" You mean like the kids on my street that have been riding bikes, playing ball and swimming in the neighbor's pool since they were throw out of school in March? Five or six families of kids ages 5-12 have been playing together with no masks and no distancing for over 3 months and guess what? ZERO have come down with any illness and tow of the parents that have to go to work have (and both got over it in less than a week with mild symptoms like cough and low grade fevers). And this is a fact (although anecdotally) as opposed to the "educated" opinions of local politicians and health "experts" telling everyone to gather with "immediate family" only. Thanks for the advice you know-it-alls, I'll go ahead and exercise MY judgment on this one.

tigreyes

Don't let politics get in the way. This is serious.

DETOUR > US 66

This PanicDemic is 95% about Politics and the only folks that don;t think so are the Blue Team folks that are using it to get rid of Orange Man Bad. all you have to do is compare this "govt responses" to the Swine Flu when Barry was POTUS. Same sort of disease (coronavirus) but nobody on govt shut anything down because Barry told them to shut up about it and treat it like the flu. How many people died then?

CBRC

Test or not to test, with the shortage of test, you can be tested today & not have the virus but a week later may have it, so what good did the test do? The only way as I understand it is to be tested everyday or wait until you are sick & than be tested if necessary. It seems to be a waste of test if not sick am I wrong? Until than wear your mask when out in public & try to keep distance.

DETOUR > US 66

I agree. Why would any "normal citizen" with zero symptoms and no known exposure with anyone that was sick or even had any "close" encounters with someone at the grocery store or other place of business eagerly volunteer to get tested? Just because the federal govt. health officials told you to? You folks do realize that test will tell you if you have the virus TODAY right and test results "expired" before you ever received them? So unless you are getting tested pretty much on a daily basis like the POTUS taking a test without any symptoms or being around anybody that has the virus you are just wasting everyone's time and resources. And what if you get a "positive" test anyway? They dont treat you at all, just tell you to go home and into lockdown for 2 weeks like you probably already are doing. So just "Stay home and Stay scared" and everything will be OK. At least until you wither away and die from doing nothing other than watching the latest PanicDemic stats and hiding in your house worrying about everyone else.

Mohave Crone

All decisions made regarding COVID-19 should be made with regard to public health based on science and the opinions of experts. The politicization of the virus has cost lives and caused needless suffering.

DETOUR > US 66

Mohave Crone wrote: "All decisions made regarding COVID-19 should be made with regard to public health based on science and the opinions of experts." That's all well and good except it's a very naive position in this case. First of all there are obviously NO "experts" when it comes to this particular disease because all of their predictions and models have been proven wrong by the facts thus far. And you can bet every dollar you have that politics and media coverage has driven nearly all of the panicdemic side of this issue by the blue team. The actual disease part of the issue appears be progressing rather well in terms of vaccine development and treatments for hosipitalized patients.

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