Sites for vaccinations and COVID-19 testing are down amid rising cases in the Erie community. Health experts weigh in on what is causing them and different ways to bring crowds in again.

Large gatherings over the last few months have led to a spike in COVID-19 cases in the Erie area. State Representative Ryan Bizzarro and LECOM responded back by partnering up to combat the virus.

“We partnered with LECOM to do the area’s first COVID clinic in a legislative office. I’m happy to do that because I think it’s really important given that we’ve got to get folks vaccinated so we can get through this,” said Ryan Bizzarro, 3rd District State Representative

The vaccination clinic drew individuals in to receive their shot but not as many as some might expect.

“I don’t think it’s so much an advertising issue. I think, in general, the public knows that vaccines are available and that they’re available in a variety of different settings. Again, it’s more so just that education aspect. You know that the vaccine is safe and it is the most effective thing that we have,” said Brandon Sing, Assistant Professor of Pharmacy Practice at LECOM.

Testing lines have decreased drastically at the Bayfront Convention Center.

“I think weather is having a large impact this week. You know, there may be other things as well. Just this week, people have the opportunity to order tests to get delivered to their homes for free,” Sing said.

Bizzarro says that ease and availability are key when it comes to keeping the community safe and healthy.

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“I don’t know what more we can do to get folks to get their vaccinations, except to offer more sites and make it more convenient for them to do so,” Bizzarro said,

The Bayfront Convention Center usually tests up to 600 individuals within the week.