Low numbers for COVID-19 testing at local community centers

Local News

It’s a countdown far too many people are familiar with — the COVID-19 test.

But community centers like Martin Luther King and Booker T. Washington aren’t seeing all that mnay patients rushing through the doors to get tested. Why?

“Because the mask mandate has been lifted,” said James Sherrod, executive director of the MLK Center. “They don’t have to get tested anymore.”

Shantel Hilliard, executive director at the Booker T. Washington Center said the inconsistency of mask policies business-to-business have had an effect, too.

“People have become complacent, and it’s confusing,” Hilliard said. “Sometimes, you’re supposed to wear a mask. Sometimes, we’re not supposed to wear a mask.”

Hilliard said this past week, only six people came to his center to their noses swabbed. Both leaders recommend people to continue getting tested.

“If you’re not vaccinated, I definitely suggest for you to get tested regularly,” Sherrod said. “But along those same lines, I’ll encourage everyone to get vaccinated.”

Erie County Health Department’s health equity supervisor Laura Luther said in the past few months, 8.8 percent of positive cases have occurred in the underserved population.

“In the white community, it was about 5.1 percent of COVID-19 positive cases,” said Luther. “So, looking at that, we are seeing a big burden within our minority communities, and we want to make sure and provide services that are within our community and that are easy to access.”

There will be a COVID-19 vaccine clinic at the Second Baptist Church this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The Booker T. Washington Center at 1720 Holland St. offers COVID-19 testing on Tuesdays, from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

The Quality of Life Center at 2046 E. 19th St. offers testing on Wednesdays from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

And the Martin Luther King Center at 312 Chestnut St. offers testing on Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

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