TAYLOR COUNTY—Each day, the threat of Taylor County’s first confirmed case of COVID-19, or Coronavirus, increases, but officials are working diligently to ensure that proactive attempts of prevention are being made.
Each week, key players throughout the county participate in meetings over the phone, to discuss their plans of action and any new procedures they will be implementing.
On Monday, during one such call, Dr. David Bender, Taylor County’s Health Officer, reported that although cases continue to creep in around our borders, Taylor County is still free of the virus.
“While individuals have undergone testing, those results have come back negative, this far,” he said. “We have been very fortunate to have not had any positive tests locally, and we can only hope that once we do have a confirmed case, we are able to contain the spread.”
Bender also revealed that over the weekend, with individuals that had been tested, there was no high-risk patients, which meant no qualifiers to utilize the drive-thru testing option.
“Should we have someone test positive through the screenings at Grafton City Hospital, we will then begin to utilize the drive-thru site that will be held at Grafton High School,” he reported.
He shared that the state had approximately 400 kits to use for the next week or so, and that all high-risk testing is being sent to the state lab, which yields results in one-to-three days.
“Our lower and moderate risk tests are being conducted through LabCorp, and those results are typically returned within three-to-five days,” Bender disclosed. “The state should soon be receiving the quick tests by the end of this week, and patients who undergo that testing will know results within five hours.”
If someone feels that they have been infected with Coronavirus, they should first call Grafton City Hospital at 304-265-0400, and let the operator know that they are calling in reference to the screening for the virus.
“Individuals will be asked a series of questions as medical personnel work to triage them over the phone,” said Shawn Thorn, Threat Preparedness Coordinator for the Graton-Taylor County Health Department. “Once it has been determined that they someone is being considered a ‘Person Under Investigation,’ they will be issued an appointment time to utilize the drive-through testing.”
Many residents have questioned whether or not their insurance will be billed for testing, and Bender revealed that those tests performed through LabCorp would be billed to insurance companies, but any charges not covered by the insurance company would be waived.
With the impending threat moving closer, Governor Jim Justice issued a Stay at Home order, commanding that all non-essential businesses close their doors to help curb the spread of the virus. The Grafton-Taylor Health Department issued three recommendations for those business that would be still be operational under the order.
Those businesses are asked to keep in stock hand sanitizers or wipes at the entrance and exit of their facilities, they are asked to continue to follow the six-foot social distancing recommendation between both customers and cashiers and businesses are asked to remind residents to limit trips to one person from each household.
“Coronavirus is a real threat,” voiced Bender. “Let’s keep Taylor County safe and free of COVID-19.”
He said that by adopting the recommended measures set for by the health department, the spread of the virus could be curb, meaning lives could be saved.
For now, as the situation continues to constantly evolve, residents are encouraged to follow the recommendations set forth by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), including frequent and thorough hand washing, social distancing and limiting public exposure, including limiting groups to no more than 10 people.