14215—it’s the zip code that includes Cheektowaga and the east side of Buffalo, and with 86 positive COVID-19 cases, it’s the zip code currently seeing the highest volume in Erie County.
See a breakdown of zip code cases here.
It’s disconcerting data for Kermit Avenue resident, Shawn Dukes. He’s lived in the area for more than a decade.
“It’s worrisome especially since I have three kids,” Dukes said.
The county said Monday, they believe the increase in that location is caused by the high number of healthcare workers who live in the area. “That’s a big concern of ours and we’re keeping a very close eye on that,” Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said.
Pastor George Nicholas is with the African American Health Equity Task Force. It was established some six years ago to try and solve the disparities in certain pockets of Buffalo. He doesn’t doubt health care workers could be contributing to the cluster. But, he believes the main driver is the social determinants of health and he’s especially concerned since there are already high rates of diabetes, heart disease and asthma in the densely populated neighborhoods.
“We’re already at a crisis. So now you introduce COVID-19 and it’s just going to amplify the health disparities that are already there,” he said.
County officials say they’re monitoring the area closely. But, at this point, they didn’t indicate they would be doing anything unique to stop the spread in those neighborhoods.