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Additional East Side testing site to be hosted next week

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Buffalo Common Councilmember Rasheed Wyatt announced Thursday that an additional COVID-19 test site will be available next Monday and Friday in a neighborhood where, he says, concerns remain high about infection rates and adequate testing.

Quest Diagnostics will operate the site inside Greater Faith Bible Tabernacle Church, located at 391 Edison Avenue in Buffalo. The testing will be held Monday, May 11 and Friday, May 15, from 9 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. both dates.

"There was already information from the governor and from the Erie County Executive about the high rate of infection and mortality," Councilmember Wyatt said. "And so, you know, when you start hearing that your friends are dying and your family is affected, and we're waiting for testing on this site, it really mobilized me to really dig deep into find out, to get another testing site."

Wyatt credited Erie County Legislator April Baskin and her role in securing a testing site inside the Leroy C. Coles, Jr. Library on East Delavan Avenue, but said an additional site is needed to serve the neighborhood near the city's Langfield Homes.

Appointments are strongly recommended, Wyatt explained, so that Quest may be adequately prepared. He said those who call will be asked if they have health insurance and a primary care physician, but those without insurance will also be assisted with the support of the Community Health Center of Buffalo.

The number to call for an appointment is (716) 986-9199.

Wyatt, whose district includes the testing site, was asked the general attitude of his constituents toward the pandemic, and whether they, too, are among those anxious to reopen the local economy.

"I don't see that very much. I think that many of us have a solid understanding under Governor Cuomo's leadership that yes, we may want to go back to life as normal, but we know that to do so could be a serious detriment to our community," he replied. "Most of us and, you know, especially my block club ... many of them understand the governor's leadership and county executive. So, we're following that because, especially in our neighborhoods, we cannot afford to step away and go in another direction, when this thing seems like it's affecting us a lot more than any other community. We have to follow that course, and I think it's the appropriate course."

Michael Mroziak is an experienced, award-winning reporter whose career includes work in broadcast and print media. When he joined the WBFO news staff in April 2015, it was a return to both the radio station and to Horizons Plaza.
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