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City of Buffalo Press Releases

Posted on: March 15, 2020

Mayor Brown Announces State of Emergency in Buffalo and Provides a COVID-19 Update

Seal of the City of Buffalo

Buffalo, NY – Today, Mayor Byron W. Brown, joined by Buffalo Fire Commissioner William Renaldo, Buffalo Police Chief Byron Lockwood, Deputy Commissioner Joe Gramaglia, Public Works Commissioner Michael Finn, and Department of Community Services Commissioner Otis Barker, announced a State of Emergency declaration for the City of Buffalo effective immediately. “The State of Emergency declaration will help City departments and partnering agencies continue to do what is necessary to maintain public health and safety,” said Mayor Brown. “ I want to emphasize that City Hall is open for business. If you need to come to City Hall, you will be able to, but in order to prevent the spread of this disease, I strongly encourage you to call our departments first or use our online services. This situation is dynamic and rapidly evolving, but my Administration is ready to respond.” There are 729 confirmed Coronavirus cases in New York State, with 3 deaths and 3 new diagnoses in Erie County, one of which is in the City of Buffalo. As a precaution to limit the contraction of the virus through community spread, Mayor Brown announced the following: • The Observation Deck has been closed and public tours of City Hall are suspended at this time; • Buffalo Public Schools are closed until April 20th (Updated at 6:00pm on March 15, 2020) • City-owned and operated Senior Centers (Richmond, Autumnwood, Broadway Market) will be open, with social distancing measures, so we can continue to assist our older residents, while we plan for a potential suspension of services. • City Community Centers (Tosh Collins, Lincoln, Machnica, Hennepin, JFK and Schiller Park) will also remain open at this time, however, senior services provided at Tosh Collins and Hennepin are canceled. While there have been only three confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Erie County, Mayor Brown reiterated what health officials from all levels of government have been stressing, that the best way to contain any potential spread of COVID-19 is to limit large gatherings and encouraging social distancing. “The Governor and County Executive’s orders to limit capacity in bars and restaurants is important,” added Mayor Brown. “The State Liquor Authority will charge the establishments that are failing to comply with these orders with violations of State Law that could subject owners to penalties of up to $10,000. Repeat violators face losing their liquor licenses.”

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