TAYLOR COUNTY—The results from last weekend’s Free Community Wide COVID Testing event have come back and Taylor County Health Officials are more than pleased with the outcome.
“All of our results are back and of the 365 tested, we had no positive results for residents within the county,” Grafton-Taylor County Health Department Threat Preparedness Coordinator Shawn Thorn said. “We had one positive test result returned, but that person does not reside in Taylor County.”
We also had someone who has previously, and continuously tested positive for the virus who underwent testing during the event, and that patient returned another positive test.
“I know that it is not the entire population, but it is a good sampling,” he shared. “We know that we have asymptomatic people out there, but it seems as if the asymptomatic spread is not as bad as we had originally thought.”
And while those numbers are pleasing, Thorn does not want people to get complacent in their battle against the spread of the Coronavirus disease.
“Just don’t take this as it is time to go back to normal. This just means that the contact tracing being done by the health department is working,” he noted. “We need to continue doing what we are doing.”
Thus far, 3,077 Taylor County residents have undergone COVID testing, a x that health officials are very happy to report.
“Just to give you a rough idea of the total number tested, that is approximately 18 percent of the county’s total population,” reported Thorn. “That is a very, very great number to have achieved the total testing on.”
He further shared that the county currently has had 60 positive results with 12 active cases, 47 recovered patients and one death.
“Another great number to report is our positivity rate, which is currently at a 1.95 percent,” Thorn commented. “That is down almost a full percent from 30 days ago, when everything started to increase and spike out.”
While testing at the Grafton-Taylor County Health Department’s mobile drive thru site is still underway, it was revealed that the numbers of people testing daily have greatly reduced.
“We are continuing our daily testing. While we had seen it top out at around 80 people in one day, those numbers have dropped to between only 10-20 individuals,” Thorn disclosed.
Although the majority of the news was good, it was reported that Taylor County is still experiencing outbreaks in two locations.
“We are still working the outbreaks at West Hill Wesleyan Methodist Church and the Rosewood Center,” Thorn explained. “Rosewood is now up to five total infected individuals, three residents and two staff.”
He said that the center had completed their second round of COVID testing on Wednesday, and officials were still awaiting the results of those tests.
“They will continue testing weekly until everyone there tests negative, in accordance with Governor Jim Justice’s orders,” Thorn said. “In a recent press briefing he ordered the mandated testing of all nursing homes, jails and prisons retested, as they had a few months ago.”
He reported that Dr. David Bender, County Health Officer, would be working with the county’s nursing homes and care homes to ensure all higher risk populations within those facilities were tested.
“We may even expand that out to the area’s daycares, but that is just a potential occurrence at this point,” Thorn added.
In addition to testing for the Coronavirus, it was revealed that the Grafton-Taylor County Health Department would soon focus on administering regular school immunizations, along with the upcoming flu season.
“We do have school shots coming up, and our public health nurse will begin working with the school nurses to get that rolling before the start of school and shortly thereafter, because we know that the start of the school year is going to look much different this year,” Thorn said.
With the upcoming school year inching close and closer, the possibility for spread of the virus through students is on the mind of health officials. Bender asked Delegate Amy Summers if there had been any inclination about the probability of the testing of all students within the state.
“We have not heard any official word on whether or not testing will be completed, but I will be back in Charleston this afternoon and will be sure to bring it up,” Summers noted. “I will check with them and then will update on Monday about that.”
Bender and Thorn both urged residents to continue carrying out the safety measures to help mitigate the spread of COVID.