COVID-19 cases at Buffalo's New Zion Baptist Church prompting diagnostic clinic Friday

Jul 29, 2020

A group of positive COVID-19 cases identified within a Buffalo church is prompting a one-day diagnostic clinic to check for more potential cases.

The Erie County Department of Health’s contact tracing team identified a set of individuals who tested positive for the virus had attended activities within the same time period at New Zion Baptist Church in Buffalo.

“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,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Gale Burstein

The clinic will be held this Friday from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. in the church parking lot at 318 High Street, and offer walk-up and drive-through testing. Individuals who are unable to attend the clinic are encouraged to get a diagnostic test through another county, state, or private testing site. Individuals should also monitor for COVID-19 symptoms.

Burstein says this is the first time the county has used knowledge from case investigations to coordinate a clinic to stop the chain of COVID transmission.

“We have a chance to prevent a small grouping of new cases from becoming a much larger outbreak,” said Burstein.

“As we have seen from other parts of New York State, we will probably have to offer a COVID testing clinic like this again.”

A searchable map of Erie County sites is available at www.erie.gov/covidtestsites.