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COVID-19 News

Posted on: November 19, 2020

Mayor Brown Announces Important Updates to Buffalo’s Response to the Covid-19 Emergency


Buffalo, NY –Mayor Byron W. Brown continues to urge residents to protect themselves during the ongoing COVID-19 global health emergency in the wake of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s “Orange Zone” designation for the City of Buffalo and Erie County based on the recent rise in infections.

Mayor Brown stated “We are just one step away from a total shutdown at a time when our businesses need us more than ever. We have the ability to control the spread of this virus. I am asking residents to continue to wear their masks correctly, wash their hands, practice physical distancing and refrain from gathering. We need to reverse the trend to save lives, spare our health system from becoming overwhelmed and to keep our community healthy.”

The Orange Zone restrictions go into effect on Friday, November 20th. Under the order, high-risk businesses such as gyms, hair and nail salons, barbers, cosmetologists, tattoo and piercing studios, laser hair removal and other personal care services will be closed until further notice. Bars and restaurants can continue to offer outdoor dining and takeout or delivery services,  but can no longer offer any indoor service and must close  by 10 pm. The City of Buffalo will continue to assist impacted businesses interested in expanding outdoor services through its Small Business Social Distancing Initiative (SBSDI). Program participants must adhere

to specific guidelines and must obtain a permit to use heaters by contacting the City of Buffalo Office of Fire Prevention at 716-851-5333 ext.750. The City of Buffalo also offers additional resources to local small businesses through Reopen Buffalo, a one-stop destination with a variety of resources.

The Governor’s Orange Zone designation also limits both residential and non-residential gatherings to 10 people maximum both indoors and outdoors. Crowds at houses of worship are limited to either 33% of the maximum capacity or 25 people, whichever number is less. All schools within the Orange Zone will be closed with remote-only learning starting Monday, November 23rd.  Schools may reopen if they follow new guidelines that require mass testing in schools before they reopen followed by vigilant symptom and exposure screening conducted daily.

For more information on the Governor’s Orange Zone designation and his Cluster Action Initiative, visit

State of Emergency

Throughout the pandemic, Mayor Brown has continued to renew the State of Emergency Declaration for the City of Buffalo each month. The declaration helps City Departments and partnering agencies continue to do what is necessary to maintain public health and safety.

Mayor Brown Pushes for Relief from the Federal Government

Mayor Brown continues to call on Federal lawmakers to work together to secure federal disaster relief funding for States and municipalities, including the City of Buffalo, to assist with the devastating economic impact of the pandemic. President-Elect Biden has reiterated his support for legislation like the HEROES Act, and has said his administration would establish a renewable fund for state and local governments to help prevent budget shortfalls, a promise Mayor Brown believes is critical for Buffalo’s recovery.

Mayor Brown stated, “President-Elect Biden realizes the significant impact that this emergency has had on local government and has signaled his support for robust relief. I am confident that the President-Elect will help our communities get the resources we need to heal and rebuild.”


Reminder: City of Buffalo’s Department of Assessment & Taxation Changes to Phone Appointments

In person appointments for the Department of Assessment & Taxation will no longer be available effective Monday, November 16th. Anyone needing services may call the office at 851-5733 and follow the queues to speak to the appropriate division. Video conferencing is available when requested.


For Assessment Inquiries call - 851-5733, Option 1 or email For Tax Inquiries call - 851-5733, Option 2 or email

For Exemption Inquiries call - 851-5733, Option 3 or email The division of treasury will continue to be open to accept any payments.

Centennial Park Remains Closed After Windstorm

Mayor Brown reminds residents that the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Centennial Park remains closed due to damage sustained during Monday’s windstorm. With a Wind Advisory issued from 9 AM to 5 PM tomorrow, residents are reminded to use caution when driving, secure garbage and recycling cans and bring any lawn or holiday decorations inside. If you lose power or see a fallen power line, please immediately call National Grid at



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