As cases of COVID-19 continue to rise in Blair County, local leaders are encouraging residents to follow precautions and take advantage of the free testing the state Department of Health has set up at the Blair County Convention Center.
Bruce Erb, chairman of the Blair County Commissioners, said the site at the Convention Center has been very busy — 500 to 600 tests a day.
The clinic, which offers drive-through and indoor testing, opened Nov. 15 and will be open Monday and Tuesday.
“I’m pleased that our residents are responding, that the populace is concerned enough they’re going out and getting themselves tested," Erb said.
In Blair County, the number of cases has more than doubled since the beginning of November. On Sunday, it passed 3,300, according to the state Department of Health.
“I see the trend. I see the trend statewide. It’s still continuing to accelerate rapidly," Erb said. "And it’s a huge concern. I wish I could tell you, 'We’re going to turn the corner and things are going to be better next week,' but they’re not.”
Instead, the holidays, when people travel and congregate, are approaching, along with deer rifle hunting season.
“When you’re hunting, you’re fine, you’re in the woods. But when you’re back at camp, it’s a little more difficult," Erb said. "There are things like that that culturally we need to look at this and say how can we do this differently, so that we’re still able to enjoy an activity we enjoy, but not doing it so we’re putting ourselves and others in any sort of peril.”