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COVID testing sites still in high demand across WNY

Sixty people across New York died of COVID on Christmas Day. That included five people in Erie County and six others elsewhere across Western New York.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — COVID testing sites are still seeing high demand across Western New York.

There was a line of cars at a 'Western New York Rapid Testing' site on Transit Road, just south of Wehrle Drive, at the old Protocol restaurant on Sunday.

The testing company offers 30-minute tests that people can register for online or drive up to.

New COVID cases hit 524 on Saturday, according to the Erie County health department. That was out of 4,192 tests for a positivity rate of 12.5 percent on Christmas Day.

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said on Twitter Sunday the good news is that hospitalizations continue to drop. On Christmas Eve, there were 254 people with COVID in an Erie County hospital, as compared to 292 the day before.

"As we come home from holiday gatherings, it is as important as ever to take precautions to limit the spread of COVID-19 this season," Gov. Kathy Hochul said in a statement on Sunday.

According to numbers provided by the governor's office, the Western New York region's seven-day average of cases per population of 100,000 on Saturday was 68.37. The highest numbers of the 10 regions were recorded in New York City (256.7), Long Island (216.1), and Mid-Hudson (140.16).

The Western New York region includes Erie, Niagara, Chautauqua, Cattaraugus, and Allegany counties.

The Finger Lakes region -- which includes Orleans, Genesee, and Wyoming counties -- had a seven-day average of 54.51 cases per 100,000 people.

Sixty people across New York died of COVID on Christmas Day. That included five people in Erie County, two each in Cattaraugus County and Chautauqua County, and one each in Niagara and Genesee counties.

"Wear your mask, wash your hands, and if you haven't yet, get vaccinated and boosted," Hochul said. "The vaccine is the best tool we have to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe as we head into the new year. Take advantage of having it readily available and get yours today."

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