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City of Buffalo Press Releases

Posted on: November 20, 2020

Mayor Byron W. Brown Announces Important Updates to Buffalo’s Response to COVID-19 11-20-20


Buffalo, NY –Mayor Byron W. Brown today continued to urge residents to do their part in helping to reverse the COVID-19 surge in the City of Buffalo. Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s Orange Zone restrictions went into effect for the City of Buffalo and Erie County today, which is designed to reduce community spread in areas where Coronavirus infections are spiking. Under the guidelines, high-risk personal care businesses are 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 10pm. The restrictions also limit capacity at Houses of worship to either 33% of the maximum capacity or 25 people, whichever number is less. Residential and non- residential gatherings are limited to 10 people both indoors and outdoors until further notice. All schools within the Orange Zone will be closed and switch to virtual learning starting Monday, November 23rd.

Mayor Brown stated “We have the ability to change the course of this virus. We know what to do and I am calling on every resident to remain cautious by wearing masks, washing your hands frequently and practicing safe physical distancing. If infections continue to rise, we could face a Red Zone designation, which means a total shutdown at a time when the very survival of our local businesses is on the line. Please follow the guidelines. Let’s work together to save lives, keep our community healthy and combat the spread of this deadly virus.”

For more information on the Governor’s guidelines and Cluster Action Initiative, visit

School Zone Safety Program Update

Mayor Brown today announced that the School Zone Safety Program will be suspended until further notice as of Monday, November 23rd at the following four locations:

  • Canisius High School, 1180 Delaware
  • Nichols School, 1250 Amherst Street
  • Notre Dame Academy, 1125 Abbott Road
  • St. Joseph University School, 3275 Main Street

The suspension comes as students at those schools will be learning virtually as of Monday due to the Governor’s Orange Zone restrictions. The School Zone Safety Program will remain in effect for Buffalo Promise Neighborhood Children’s Academy located at 3149 Bailey Avenue. The camera at that location will still be active, so City traffic officials urge motorists to please obey the speed limit.

COVID-19 testing available

To find the closest COVID-19 test site near you, visit The map contains a complete listing of all COVID-19 testing sites throughout the City with contact information for setting up an appointment, hours of operation and whether the site requires a prescription by a doctor for testing.

3-1-1 Assisting Residents

Operators at the City of Buffalo’s 3-1-1 Call and Resolution Center are working remotely and are ready to assist residents. If you need non-emergency assistance, please dial 3-1-1. You can also file a report online 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, via the 3-1-1 website.

Document Depository Now Available at Buffalo City Hall

In accordance with the Mayor’s directive to reduce in-person services at Buffalo City Hall, the Department of Permits and Inspection Services has placed a “Plan Drop” in the Elmwood Avenue entrance lobby for residents and developers who need to deliver plans, schematics and other documents that cannot be submitted online for review. For permits and licensing needs, residents are encouraged to visit Inspection-Services. For license needs that cannot be met online, call 851-6583, 851-6594 or 851-4078. For permit services that cannot be met online, call 851-4935 or 851-5033. For general information, please call 851- 4949.

Also as a reminder, in-person services are also suspended until further notice for the Department of Taxation and Assessment. Residents needing services may call 851-5733 and follow the queues to speak to the appropriate division. 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

Supporting Local Businesses

Mayor Brown reminds small businesses in the City of Buffalo that help is available during the COVID-19 emergency. Businesses interested in expanding outdoor services can do so through the 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, a one-stop destination with a variety of resources.

Free Recycling Event Saturday

The City of Buffalo is holding a free shredding event and clothing recycling drive on Saturday, November 21, from 9am – Noon at JFK Park, 366 Clinton Street. COVID-19 safety measures will be in place to protect and maintain public health and safety. Residents should be prepared to show identification through the window, staff will remove the material from the car. For the safety of all, residents must remain in their cars.

Division of Parks and Recreation Releases Spring 2021 Outdoor Sports Diamonds and Field Permit Applications

The City of Buffalo Division of Parks and Recreation has released the Spring 2021 Outdoor Sports Diamonds and Fields permit application. The release comes early this year to give leagues time to plan for COVID-19 safety measures. The seasonal sports permit application can be found at Seasonal-Sports-Permit. Leagues with questions can email

Shoreline Area Remains Closed at Centennial Park

The Shoreline area of the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Centennial Park remains closed as crews continue to address damage sustained during Monday’s windstorm. The Skate Park and the Dog Park areas are open for use.

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