News Flash

City of Buffalo Press Releases

Posted on: December 3, 2020

Mayor Byron W. Brown Announces Important Updates to Buffalo’s Response to COVID-19 12-02-20


Buffalo, NY – Mayor Byron W. Brown today announced that the City of Buffalo’s Division of Citizen Services won the Local IT Innovation of the Year Award by StateScoop, an online government technology news website. The national award is in recognition of the collaborative effort to seamlessly convert the 3-1-1 Call and Resolution Center into a remote operation to continue to assist the needs of residents during the COVID-19 emergency.

Mayor Brown stated, “Maintaining contact with residents continues to be one of the highest priorities of my Administration during the ongoing global pandemic. I congratulate Chief Service Officer Oswaldo Mestre, 3-1- 1 Call and Resolution Center Staff, other City employees and the University at Buffalo for this incredible behind-the-scenes effort to keep our call center services operating for residents at a time when they needed it most. I am proud of this initiative and this innovative effort, which continues to be a model for other municipalities across the nation.”

City of Buffalo Chief Service Officer and Division of Citizen Services Director Oswaldo Mestre, Jr. stated, “I would like to thank Mayor Brown for his leadership during these unprecedented times and for recognizing the need to transition the Call and Resolution Center to a remote operation during the early phase of the COVID-19 emergency. I also want to acknowledge the 3-1-1 operators for their dedication and flexibility to help make this technological transition a major success for the City and more importantly for the residents we serve.”

 This remote operation is still being utilized today, with operators continuing to assist residents remotely with any non-emergency needs. If you need assistance, please call 3-1-1.

Sign up for the BuffAlert Parking Update initiative

More than 1,400 residents have signed up for the new 9am-4pm parking tool to assist residents during snow events in the City of Buffalo. Residents can sign up for the BuffAlert Parking Update initiative by texting JOIN PARKINGUPDATES to 30890. Once enrolled, participating residents will receive a text message or phone call 24 hours before the 9am-4pm Alternate Parking Restrictions need to be enforced for snow maintenance. The program provides residents with notice to move their vehicles in these zones during snow events.

The community comes through for Buffalo PAL

Mayor Brown today thanked residents, businesses and other organizations for their assistance in making the Buffalo Police Athletic League’s (PAL) 2020 Holiday Giving Campaign a success. In the nearly month-long campaign, PAL received about $29,000 in donations from the Western New York community, exceeding the $25,000 goal. The funding supports important programming for thousands of youth in grades K-12 who are living at or below the poverty level. PAL is still accepting donations this holiday season, to donate visit

Division of Citizen Services to host virtual COVID-19 Block Chat on Friday

The Division of Citizen Services and the Board of Block Clubs are holding a community engagement meeting focused on the COVID-19 emergency on Friday, December 4th at Noon. Special guest Dr. Raul Vazquez, Founder and CEO of the Greater Buffalo United Accountable Healthcare Network (GBUAHN), will discuss several Coronavirus-related topics including safety, isolation, health tips and much more. Residents interested in attending the virtual event should email by Thursday, December 3rd at 9pm.

Assistance available for small 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.

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 for testing.

Help your community by donating blood

Mayor Brown encourages healthy, COVID-19 symptom-free residents to give blood to help maintain an adequate supply. Donating is safe and social distancing precautions are in place to protect donors. To make an appointment or if you are interested in holding a blood drive, visit

Sign up for BuffAlert

Use BuffAlert to stay informed on important information like emergencies and cancellations. You can sign up by texting JOIN BUFFALERT to 30890.

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