GTCHD works to ensure patient privacy as COVID cases are announced

TAYLOR COUNTY—After what seemed to be a short lull in the announcement of positive cases of COVID for Taylor County, the Grafton-Taylor County Health Department reported multiple cases over the past couple of days.
On Friday, October 16, the department revealed that a patient, an adolescent and a student at West Taylor Elementary School, had fallen victim to the virus.  Contact tracing began immediately, with the full cooperation and support of Taylor County Schools’ Superintendent and the school’s principal.
“It was determined that the student had not been in school for an adequate period, in relation to their symptom onset, to have potentially exposed any students or staff. Therefore, there is no need for school/class shutdown(s) or quarantines,” shared Grafton-Taylor County Threat Preparedness Coordinator Shawn Thorn.
Then, on Sunday, the county added two additional cases, bringing the total case count to 156. This time, the patients were reportedly in their 50’s and 60’s and were isolated in their homes.
An announcement was once again made on Monday that another adolescent had fallen victim to the virus. This time, no mention of whether or not the child attended Taylor County Schools was made.
“We had a lot of feedback from the community as to why we did not report if the child attended one of the county’s schools, but after a breech in privacy by school staff, we were forced to change our protocol to ensure that a student/child’s rights are not violated,” Thorn explained.
The Grafton-Taylor Health Department offered a friendly reminder to those wanting more information than they at times report.
“An Individual’s right to privacy, and our duty to protect that right, will always come first,” Thorn expressed. “We, as parents and community members, understand your frustrations. However, we must at all times do our utmost to protect privacy.”
Then, on Tuesday, Taylor County reported one new confirmed case of COVID-19, bringing the county’s count to 158 cases.
“With this announcement, Taylor County now sits at seven active cases, 143 recovered and eighth deaths,” said Thorn. “We remind everyone that we are conducting FREE daily community testing at our mobile drive-thru site at the First Baptist Church of Grafton on US Rt 119, Monday thru Friday from noon to 2pm, with 100% FREE Flu Vaccinations (NO BILLING, ZERO COST) on Tuesday and Thursday at the testing site.”
To prevent the spread of COVID-19, the health department urges residents to continue to follow the safety measures put in place by the WV DHHR and the Governor’s Executive Orders.