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Church congregation potentially exposed to COVID-19, one-day testing clinic to be held

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Posted at 12:52 PM, Jul 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-29 18:07:03-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — This Friday (July 31), the Erie County Department of Health will be offering a one-day clinic for COVID-19 testing at the New Zion Baptist Church in Buffalo.

This comes after the ECDOH contact tracing team says it identified a set of individuals with positive COVID-19 tests who attended activities at the New Zion Baptist Church during the same time period.

“Contact tracing is about breaking the chain of transmission,” said Commissioner of Health Dr. Gale Burstein. “Our epidemiology team is working with New Zion leadership to communicate directly with its congregation,inform them of their potential exposure and encourage them and their families to get a free diagnostic COVID-19 test at this clinic.”

The site, at 318 High Street, will be open from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. for walk-up visits and drive-through traffic. The clinic will be taking place in the church's parking lot.

“This is the first time that we have used knowledge from our case investigations to coordinate a clinic to stop the chain of transmission,” said Dr. Burstein. “We have a chance to prevent a small grouping of new cases from becoming a much larger outbreak.”“As we have seen from other parts of New York State, w ewill probably have to offer a COVID testing clinic like this again,” she continued. “Our entire ECDOH team is prepared to find and isolate new cases and prevent the spread of this disease.