County continues to work around COVID-19 issues


TAYLOR COUNTY—Officials throughout the county continue to meet through conference call to discuss new developments in the COVID-19 crisis.
Threat Preparedness Coordinator Shawn Thorn first reported that Taylor County has had 126 residents tested thus far, of those tests, 13 are still pending.
“We do have three confirmed positives, and that is a reliable number,” he said. “I have to say, I like that number. The smaller, the better.”
During Friday morning’s meeting, Dr. David Bender, County Health Officer, discussed with local law officials the possibility of those who have tested positive for Coronavirus not adhering to the quarantine guidelines given to them.
Although it has yet to become an issue, Bender shared that he would like to go ahead and have a plan in place, should infected residents not follow the rules.
It was revealed by Taylor County Prosecuting Attorney John Bord that should someone not adhere to the guidelines set forth by the Grafton-Taylor County Health Department, the health department would first have to issue and order.
“Then, if they violate, we would have to petition the court to get a court order placing them on a home confinement of sorts,” he added.
Bender noted that a court order would be set as a “third strike and you’re out” scenario. He then questioned whether or not they would be able to utilize the home confinement bracelets used by the Taylor County Sheriff’s Department’s Home Confinement program, as some of the other counties in the state are doing.
“If someone is COVID-19 positive, they present a real threat to our community, and those would be the ones that we would be dealing with,” Bender reiterated. “My idea is that we are going to give them a chance. If they violate, they will get a quarantine and then if they violate that, they will have the confinement issued.”
Austin revealed that the bracelets could be used in this type of situation and said that he would be the one to install the bracelets only if he had the proper protective equipment to do so.
“I have no problem hooking them up, but I don’t want to risk my own health or someone else’s,” he voiced. “I just want to make sure I would have the proper gear.”
Bender revealed that anyone who had to be within six feet of a patient who is COVID-19 positive, they must be equipped with the proper personal protective equipment (PPE).
“We could certain supply you with that PPE from the health department, to make sure everyone was safe,” he said.
Bender again voiced that there has been no issue with any residents who have tested positive thus far, and it was his desire to go ahead and have a plan set in place in the event that they had a non-compliant individual with the county, that could potentially endanger more lives.

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