Taylor County Health Officials deal with spike in COVID cases


TAYLOR COUNTY—As COVID-19 continues to attack the nation, Grafton-Taylor County Health Department officials are continuing to monitor the situation closer to home.

 In a recent update teleconference, Grafton-Taylor County Threat Preparedness Coordinator Shawn Thorn revealed that the county has so far tested 1,200 residents, with 1,181 negatives, four pending results and 13 total positives.

 “Of those positives, only five are active cases. Additionally, we have one suspect and one probable case,” he reported. “Taylor County is currently sitting at a 1.08 percent positivity rate.”

 Unfortunately, the latest case was contracted through community spread, something that until now was not an issue for residents.

 “That is something that we haven’t had to deal with before. We just really, really need to tighten down, pay attention and be a little smarter now,” Thorn voiced.

 Dr. David Bender, County Health Officer, further revealed that the most current patient does have some comorbidity, or underlying conditions.

 “It is kind of like we are back in April with testing and our COVID-19 concerns,” he noted. “All of a sudden now, we are starting to see people who have not only been COVID exposed, but some who have developed symptoms, so only time will tell.”

 He said that within two weeks, health officials would have a better understanding of any issues that should arise.

 “We you have community spread, you tend to see more older adults or those with comorbidity who are being affected,” Bender voiced. “And, that is when we have to start to really worry.”

 Thorn said that the next two weeks would be critical to help tamp down the surges and outbreaks that are occurring.

 With the recent spike in cases within the county, some local restaurants have started to implement practices to help ensure the safety of their employees and patrons.

 Among those who are taking a proactive approach are Jerry’s Restaurant and The Gourmet Express, who have both shifted back into a take-out only scenario.

 “The Grafton-Taylor Health Department would like to commend Jerry’s Restaurant and The Gourmet Express for their concern for the safety of our community,” voiced Grafton-Taylor County Health Department Administrator Boyd Vanhorn. “Recently these two local restaurants voluntarily made changes in their level of service, returning to a drive thru – pick up service only.”

However, those businesses who are continuing on with their in-person services are working in close conjunction with the health department to ensure all guidelines are being met to keep the community as safe as possible.

 In addition, some local nursing care facilities and personal care homes have suspended visitation once more, as well as Grafton City Hospital.

 Looking toward the future, the Taylor County Board of Education, in partnership with the Task Force for School Re-Entry, are exploring options for next year’s school year. Thorn said that they are also arming themselves with contingency plans should we see another spike in the fall.

 “Hopefully we can get the curve to go back down. We have to be more vigilant,” Bender voiced. “I think people are doing what they need to do to keep this simmering instead of boiling, and as long as we continue to do that, we should be able to open up more things slowly.”

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