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Getting students vaccinated: High turnout reported for COVID clinic

Buffalo Public Schools, the Erie County Department of Health, and various community groups hosted another COVID vaccine clinic for children on Saturday.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Buffalo Public Schools, the Erie County Department of Health, and various community groups teamed up to host another COVID vaccine clinic Saturday.

The goal was two-fold: get more children in the district vaccinated against COVID-19 and educate students and families about staying healthy.

Saturday's clinic at Grover Cleveland in Buffalo had a good turnout.

"We're still in a public health pandemic, and public health is a lot of things," said Jessica Bauer Walker, the executive director of the Community Health Worker Network of Buffalo. 

"It's the vaccine piece, but they are a lot of barriers that prevent people from getting vaccinated or engaging in safe practices, like wearing their mask."

Bauer Walker added that maintaining good mental and eating healthy can also keep a person's immune system healthy.

"All these are part of our families, of our communities being healthy and safe, so we talk to folks about vaccines, but we talk to them about a lot of other things they need as well," she said.

This week the district expressed concern about the number of COVID cases among faculty and students. Buffalo Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Kriner Cash said during Wednesday's weekly school board meeting that things were trending in the wrong direction.

According to district health leaders, BPS has seen 800 new COVID cases since September 3, which includes 574 students and 226 adults connected to the district, including teachers, vendors, and other staff.

The district added that most cases are spreading in the community first and then being brought into schools, with every building having reported at least one case of COVID-19 to date. The two zip codes with the highest spread in Buffalo were listed being 14212 in Lovejoy and 14220 in South Buffalo.