TAYLOR COUNTY—While the county’s positive COVID-19 case numbers have seemed to slow somewhat, the Grafton-Taylor County Health Department (GTCHD) recently announced the 111th and 112th cases involving Taylor County residents.
On Thursday, Dr. David Bender, County Health officer reported the two new positive cases, one of which involved an employee at the Tygart Lake Lodge restaurant and the other a community spread case.
He revealed that the patients were in isolation at their homes, and that Epidemiological investigation including contact tracing was underway.
Since that time, the health department has reported that no new cases have been recorded, and as of 5:00 p.m. yesterday, the county had 24 active cases, 82 recovered patients and a total of six deaths.
Bender said that it was his belief that the county could potentially see a drop in the total active cases within the near future.
“I think we are going to lose a lot of those over the next seven days because a lot of those are still nursing home related and most of those folks have recovered to this point,” he explained.
With one of the most current cases involving the restaurant at the lake over a holiday weekend, officials urge residents to remain vigilant in their efforts to mitigate the spread of the virus.
“In the Tygart Lake Lodge restaurant incident, we were able to complete our contact tracing, and thankfully, we only had two patients there, along with one contact patient,” said Grafton-Taylor County Threat Preparedness Coordinator Shawn Thorn. “They have done all of their cleaning, and we completed our inspection of the facility.”
He noted that the business would soon be reopening their doors to serve residents and guests of the county.
“They do have some staff that will remain quarantined, but they do have sufficient staff to reopen to the public,” Thorn revealed.
He said that this specific contamination event caused some confusion, but through it, the health department was able to fine tune their standard operating procedure for such an event.
“Luckily, it appears that an outbreak through the Lodge restaurant was avoided,” said Bender. “But, the next 10 days will tell us for sure if any other employees become ill that are currently in self quarantine.”
Thorn further revealed that the GTCHD has also completed their testing of head start personnel and that those tests are currently at the state lab. The results should be available in the near future.
Another hot topic that was discussed amongst county health officials was the upcoming flu season.
“We are not going to be able to start right now, because we are still working to get it ordered, but the health department is working on plans for a flu vaccination,” said Thorn. “We are working out the details to hold possibly three drive thru clinics in addition to our regular walk-in at the clinic.”
Bender said that they would be ramping up their flu vaccination efforts in about three weeks to ensure that those folks who wish to receive the vaccine get it in peak time.
Preston-Taylor Community Health Centers, Inc. will also be gearing up for their flu vaccination efforts in the near future.
“As soon as we get the vaccines, we will have two days a week where people can drive by to get their shots and then keep going,” said Dr. Wenzel. “This will be for our existing patients, but we could certainly work to make it available to other residents, as well.”
He expressed the importance this year of getting the vaccine saying, “getting the flu vaccine is always a good idea, but more so this year.”
While they are preparing for the upcoming flu season, the GTCHD is still working to ensure that individuals who believe they have been exposed to the coronavirus undergo testing. Their mobile drive thru unit is still up and running at First Baptist Church, just outside of Grafton.
Those wishing to undergo testing will need to call the Grafton City Hospital at 304-265-0400 to schedule an appointment.