Health officials hope to make COVID testing more available for hardest hit parts of Erie County


BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB)–Erie County health officials hope to make testing more available for some of the hardest-hit areas including the 14215 zip code.

We spoke with a local doctor on his plan to help contain the spread of coronavirus.

Dr. Raul Vazquez says there are three ways to help fight the spread of coronavirus, especially in low-income areas. Test, trace, and quarantine.

He says the virus can settle in the nose or lungs and testing can help determine whether someone is a carrier.

The 14-215 zip code, which includes much of Buffalo’s East Side and parts of Cheektowaga, has seen the most cases in the county so far.

Dr. Vazquez says lack of primary care doctors and existing health conditions play a major role in that.

Erie County Department of Health announced last week new guidelines for testing.

People don’t have to go through a primary care doctor, instead, they can call the county’s hotline for testing.

Dr. Vazquez says he’s partnered with several groups to also offer testing on the city’s west and east side.

He says he’s working with hotels to serve as quarantine sites and with church leaders to help get information to people.

Dr. Vazquez says they’ll be offering testing Tuesday here at the GBUAHN on Niagara Street.

He says they’ll also be testing Wednesday on the east side.

He says people should call first before getting tested.

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