Vaccination success in Taylor County has health officials hopeful

TAYLOR COUNTY—The county continues to be victorious in the ongoing battle against COVID-19, with active cases remaining low and vaccination efforts going strong.

According to Nelda Grymes, RN/BSN, Grafton-Taylor County Public Health Nurse Director, there are currently only 18 active cases throughout Taylor County, which is a great sign of the success of the efforts from both local health officials and the community at large. 

“We have confirmed a total of 841 cases countywide, with an additional 213 probable cases listed,” she reported. “The county has also seen the recovery of 801 patients, and we are currently reporting 21 deaths.”

During the Friday morning Coronavirus briefing call, Grafton-Taylor County Health Department Threat Preparedness Coordinator Shawn Thorn disclosed that the outbreak at Grafton High School had claimed another individual, bringing the total known positive cases in the outbreak to six. 

“We have five active cases at Grafton High School, two at West Taylor Elementary School and one at Anna Jarvis” he reported.

And while many individuals have had to enter into a quarantine period, vaccination efforts throughout the county have kept some folks safe.

“Many of the staff at the school did not have to quarantine because they had already received vaccinations,” Thorn noted.

He shared that local health officials have seen a great success with continued vaccination efforts.

“We had a wonderful event at yesterday’s clinic. It was very full and very busy,” Thorn voiced. “We have vaccinated approximately 37 percent of the county at this point.”

It was reported that 6,166 doses of the potentially lifesaving serums have been administered to residents in the county so far, inching the county closer to the needed numbers for a herd immunity status.

“We continue to schedule strong now that the governor has opened up to the guidelines to nearly everyone,” Thorn said. “We encourage those who have not received their shots yet to call in and get scheduled.”

Grafton-Taylor County Health Department Administrator Boyd Vanhorn shared that the county would be receiving the same number of vials of vaccinations for the upcoming week’s clinic held on Thursday.

Local health officials will be able to administer approximately 315 doses of vaccines to those taking part in the clinic, with hopes that those numbers continue to stay consistent. 

“At this rate, if the state doesn’t stop our doses, I foresee us reaching herd immunity status very, very soon,” commented Thorn. “We have seen great success through our collaborative efforts with the other health entities in the county.”

With high hopes of the continued success of the vaccination clinics, Thorn shared that the county’s percent positivity and daily infection rates will expectantly begin to decrease even more.

“On the DHHR (West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources) map, we are at an infection rate of 16.26, which is in the orange, not something we really want to see. However, with the cases present in the schools, it is understandable,” he asserted. “Our positivity rate is still under three percent at a 2.57. So, we just have to nip the outbreak in the bud.”