County finally seeing a downward trend in positive COVID cases

TAYLOR COUNTY—After a steady increase in positive COVID-19 infections throughout the county, local health officials have reported that they are finally started seeing a downward trend in cases.

“We are making progress. It is not as fast as we may like to get to the end of the tunnel, but we are beginning to see the light,” voiced Grafton-Taylor County Health County Health Department Threat Preparedness Coordinator Shawn Thorn. “As long as we remain vigilant and keep up with what we are doing, continue with the vaccinations and smart thinking, I think we are going to be ok.”

He reported that the county’s infection rate now sits at 58.29 percent and the percent positivity is hovering in the eight percent range, coming in at an 8.14 at the time of Friday morning’s county COVID update call.

“We were seeing at our QLabs test site a 20-30 percent positivity, and that has dropped down to about a five percent positivity, so that is a trend we like to see,” Thorn disclosed. “And our school testing is down to a two percent positivity rate, which is really great.”

He said that those numbers are made even better due to the fact that testing efforts have not decreased for the county. In fact, according to Thorn, the number of individuals undergoing testing has increased.

“It’s not like people are just not testing. We are seeing probably three times as many individuals per day at our site,” Thorn expressed. “So, those are all good signs. Hopefully we have topped our mountain and are on our way back down to the valley.”

Taylor County Health Officer Doctor David Bender reiterated Thorn’s delight in the steady decline in cases but revealed that there could be a potential issue on the horizon that could affect those who have tested positive.

During the course of the pandemic, and more so recently with the onset of the Delta variant, health officials have been treating COVID positive patients with monoclonal antibodies, a tactic that has proved to be successful.

However, Bender revealed that a shortage of the treatments could be looming, as the nation is still in the strong grips of the virus.

“There are some shortages in monoclonal antibodies, but so far, we have been able to meet our local needs,” he noted. “But I think that we should be good for at least another one to two weeks, but after that I am not sure. After that, it will depend on national supply.”

According to local health officials, the best way to combat this issue is for individuals to roll up their sleeves to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

“We are actually seeing an increase in the number of individuals taking this step, and a number of them have been very vocal in the past in opposition to the shot,” Thorn reported. “I would like to give a big shout out to Grafton Police Chief Bobby Beltner who has turned a lot of minds and brought a lot of non-believers into the science of it, helping to get people vaccinated.”

Those wishing to receive their COVID-19 vaccine may do so at the Grafton-Taylor County Health Department. No appointment is necessary.