GRAFTON, W.Va. — COVID-19 cases in Taylor County have been increasing over the past month, now an outbreak at the sheriff’s department has forced the closure of the courthouse, according to Grafton-Taylor County Health Department PIO Shawn Thorn.
“We are red and deep red, since the beginning of November, we have seen a massive increase in our community spread,” Thorn said. “Thanksgiving especially has really given rise to our biggest spikes ever.”
Lingering lockdowns, closures and protocols have taken their toll on residents. Thorn believes that has played a large part in the spike.
“We been in this for eight or nine months, people are starting to get tired and some people don’t think it’s real. That combined with family celebrations and community celebrations for the holidays have led people to be lax in their commonsense,” he said.
The closure of the courthouse is a precaution, but an outbreak within the sheriff’s department has been confirmed. The sheriff’s office is located in the courthouse.
“The county commission has undertaken, as of last Wednesday, a deep cleaning of the entire courthouse- Community Corrections, probation offices, deputy sheriff’s offices- every office in every building, even some the deputies may not have gone into” Thorn said. “The county commission was very proactive and got that deep cleaning done immediately.”
Health department officials are imploring residents to follow the guidelines, wear a mask and when the vaccine is available- take it.
“Prior to the Thanksgiving and November holidays we were seeing a positive trend in our cases, we were seeing a downward trend, Things were getting better,” Thorn said. “Please, if we want to get through this we have to work out these last few months. ”
The vaccination process is on schedule, according to Thorn. Health care workers have received the first dose from health department workers and assisted living facilities have been vaccinated by a private contractor.
“We are working on EMS, fire, police departments, emergency management and state police,” Thorn said. “We have all but a handful of those to finish up this week.”
No date has been set to reopen the courthouse.