Bayfront Convention Center hosts COVID-19 testing clinic

Local News

Usually, the Bayfront Convention Center hosts big events and entertainment. On Thursday night, however, the Erie County Department of Health hosted a COVID-19 testing clinic to accommodate a large number of people.

There was a long line of people waiting to get tested. Some are saying this is their way of looking out for themselves and others. Hundreds of people stood in line at the testing clinic. One mom was there with her family to make sure they were safe after gathering for the holidays.

“We had one son that is asymptomatic and tested positive. I just want to get us checked and make sure that everybody is safe,” said Julie Brieger, Erie Resident.

With cases rising in Erie County, the Director of Community Health Services for the Erie County Department of Health says this clinic is needed now more than ever.

“The testing right now is more vital than ever, just because our case count is so high. The test we are doing today is more accurate, most likely, than an at-home kit. There is certainly a role for the at-home kit and we know there is a short supply right now,” said Charlotte Berringer, Director of Community Health Services for the Erie County Department of Health.

Thursday’s clinic was expected to have high numbers of people come out since it is at the Bayfront Convention Center, a bigger location than past clinics.

“We are prepared to do up to 1,100 tests or more today. I think the highest they have had is 400, so I think we are going to see a peak turnout today and it only takes 30 minutes.” said Brenton Davis, Erie County Executive.

People in attendance at the testing clinic say they feel like they are doing their part for the community by getting tested.

“I think it’s a good way to check and stuff. It’s a very positive thing.” said Ariana Graham, Erie Resident.

“Just couldn’t sleep and it’s been bothering me for the past five days and it’s been affecting my work, so we found out they were opening here and we came here.” said Austin Schroll, Erie Resident.

To keep everyone safe, the Erie County Executive says soon there will be places that will provide the vaccine, testing, and preventative care.

“It’s a one stop shop, it’s a one stop approach. COVID is not going away, so part of that return to normalcy is having the accessibility and having the logistical plan in place to make that happen in our communities.” Davis said.

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The Erie County Executive says there will be some progress with the new approach within the next few days.

If you or someone you know wants to get tested for COVID-19, the Erie County Department of Health has more clinics available. You can click here for more information.

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