TAYLOR COUNTY—County health officials are deeming the recent Community Wide COVID testing a success.
On Saturday, health officials, volunteers and National Guardsmen set up shop at the Grafton-Taylor County Health Department’s (GTCHD) drive thru mobile testing site to perform testing on anyone in the community, in an effort to help mitigate the spread of the Coronavirus disease.
“Our weekend community wide testing was an awesome success,” expressed GTCHD Threat Preparedness Coordinator Shawn Thorn. “There were no hiccups or snafus, and everything seemed to progress smoothly throughout the day.”
He said that throughout the day, a total 364 individuals underwent the testing, at a rate of 61 participants an hour.
“We had people lined up at 7:30 a.m., our volunteers began registration at 7:40 a.m., and at 8:00 a.m., we began our testing,” Thorn reported. “The testing wrapped up at 2:05 p.m. We want to take a moment to thank everyone that came out and got tested this weekend.”
By 9:00 a.m., 100 people had been screened and by noon 278 people had underwent testing, according to Thorn.
“It was a very relaxed, yet steady, day, which was a good opportunity for our local health officials to experience what a mass event would be like,” he commented. “We are anticipating the probability of more of these kind of testing events in the future.”
He said that he believed that the majority of those who took part were Taylor County residents, although there were some participants from outside the county.
Dr. David Bender said that the testing event would allow health officials to identify asymptomatic patients, helping to contain community transmission of the virus.
“The testing went very well, and I think we will get a lot of good data from the event,” he explained. “Maybe we will pick up some more cases of asymptomatic individuals who are positive that we would not have been able to catch otherwise.”
The free testing event was a cooperative effort of the GTCHD, Grafton City Hospital, Preston-Taylor Community Health Centers, Inc., the Taylor County Office of Emergency Management and the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources.
According to organizers, funding was provided by the West Virginia State Bureau of Public Health.
Thorn noted that test results would not be available until today or Thursday for those who took part in the screenings.
“The turnaround time for the lab is approximately four to five days from the time the specimen is received,” he added.
For those who took part in the free testing event, accessing results can be done so through wv.getmycovidresult.com.
Participants can simply log on to the site with their identification number, making sure to include the QL and all digits including zeroes.
Officials remind individuals that QLabs cannot provide any patient information and results must be accessed on the website. The lab will not release information over the phone or through the mail.
Organizers revealed that much of the success of the day could be attributed to the dedicated medical professionals and volunteers who assisted with the community wide testing.
“We had plenty of volunteers and I would just like to give them a shoutout,” Thorn revealed. “I would like to thank our local health officials who helped, the Grafton Rotary Club, the volunteers from the Mon County Minorities Task force headed by Delegate Danielle Walker and the nursing students from Fayette County that were able to assist us.”
He said that he would also like to extend gratitude to Brenda Rosier at First Baptist Church, Gump’s IGA and the Rotarians for providing hospitality to those working the event.
In addition, Thorn would like to thank the Grafton City Police Department for assisting with the testing, as well as Grafton High School Principal Lori Shumaker and Taylor County Superintendent Christy Miller for the use of Grafton High School’s facility.
“Just to brag on us here in Taylor County, we have been the only county thus far, that I know about, that was able to pull off an event like this without requesting any outside help,” said Thorn. “So, if you know someone that helped on the team, give them a shoutout.”
As of press time on Tuesday, Taylor County had recorded 58 confirmed cases of COVID-19 involving county residents.
“We currently have 11 active cases, 46 recovered patients and sadly, one death,” said Thorn.
GTCHD Public Health Nurse Director Nelda Grymes reported that the numbers of infected persons pertaining to the counties outbreaks was beginning to slow.
“The church outbreak is ongoing, but it appears as if it will be closed soon. Out of the 35 individuals tested, we recorded 14 positive cases,” she explained. “In our Rosewood outbreak, I had two positive employees and one resident. The employees have been excluded from work and the resident has been isolated.”
She said that the department was currently waiting on the results from the other individuals tested at the facility.
“We know that our positive case count is probably going to increase, due to the testing, and I’d just like to take a moment to remind individuals to follow the guidelines set forth for safety,” Thorn imparted. “Remember to wash your hands frequently, social distance when possible and wear your masks.”