County back on track with downward trend in COVID numbers


TAYLOR COUNTY—After seeing slight rise in trends in the ongoing battle with the Coronavirus, county health officials are once again noting a decrease in figures.

“We have slowly started to go back down in our trends,” said Grafton-Taylor County Health Department Threat Preparedness Coordinator Shawn Thorn. “We had gotten up to almost 22 percent in our infection rate for a couple of days, and now we have come down to 15.4, which is still in the orange.”

He further reported that the county was in a yellow color designation on the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources county alert system map with a three percent positivity rate. 

“One of the things that is driving that positivity a little higher than it should be is the decrease in testing in the county,” Thorn noted. “There are fewer and fewer people being tested, so when one or two positives pop up, it is going to cause that positivity rate to jump.”

He recommended that individuals who work in high-risk situations or environments should continue to monitor themselves with surveillance testing at least once weekly, when possible. 

County Health Officer Dr. David Bender voiced that it was his belief that for the first time in a while, there was only a moderate risk of contracting the virus in Taylor County.

“This is the first time that we have seen the risk decrease in a significant fashion,” he revealed. “However, we still need to be cautious and follow mitigation strategies because it is still not a low risk.”

As of press time on Friday, the county was reporting a total of 799 cases. Of those only 24 were active. Additionally, 754 patients had recovered, and health officials had reported a total of 21 deaths. 

And while the county continues to see the total number of cases rise, health officials continue to work diligently to help mitigate the spread of the virus through vaccination clinics.

“The vaccine clinic continues to run smoothly. This last go round, we administered 322 vaccines the day of the clinic,” revealed Grafton-Taylor Health Department Administrator Boyd Vanhorn. “We had an additional 36 remaining that we finished up yesterday.”

He further disclosed that during the clinic, they were able to reach 17 homebound individuals who may have otherwise not been able to receive the vaccine.


“We dispatched three teams, and each was driven by a police officer from the Grafton Police Department to meet those needs. Kudos to that department for making that happen,” Vanhorn said. “So, it was a very productive week.”

He reported that while the county would continue to receive vials of the serum, the total number they were being allocated for this coming week is slightly less than they have been receiving. 

“We will be receiving 41 vials for the county this week, but the difference in us getting less is that Walgreens is supposed to be getting more doses,” Vanhorn explained.

According to his report, 76 of the 96 total Walgreens locations throughout the state had joined in a federal program to begin receiving additional vials of the vaccines. Vanhorn noted that it was unclear if the Grafton location was among those that had joined.

“I suspect they might be and that may be where the other doses of the vaccine went,” he expressed. “It is not bad news by any means, because if they are online, that means more vaccines in the county. The idea of getting more shots in arms is certainly a good thing.”

 Residents are reminded that they should utilize the state’s Everbridge system to pre-register for their vaccination, regardless of age.

To pre-register, which takes only moments to do, individuals can visit vaccinate.wv.gov. For those who are less tech savvy, a call to 1-833-734-0965, the state’s COVID-19 Vaccine Info Line, will get residents on the path to inoculation.

 

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