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City of Buffalo Press Releases

Posted on: November 19, 2020

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


Buffalo, NY –As part of his ongoing effort to reduce community spread of COVID-19, Mayor Byron W. Brown today directed his Administration to reduce in-person services at Buffalo City Hall. This effort is in response to the Orange Zone designation by Governor Cuomo, which goes into effect on Friday, November 20th. As an additional health precaution, the City is also continuing to perform deep cleanings at any City facility where an employee has tested positive for the virus in accordance with the City’s plans to mitigate spread.

Mayor Brown stated “The City of Buffalo continues to adapt its response to the evolving COVID-19 emergency. By reducing in-person services, the City is doing its part to help prevent further spread in our community and protect families from this dangerous virus. We don’t want to lose lives to the Coronavirus, and we must do whatever we can to lower our infection rate. Please help save lives by doing your part. Please continue to wear masks, wash your hands and practice safe physical distancing. We can get things back on track by following the guidelines, let’s work together to protect and maintain public safety.”

Residents needing services by the Department of Taxation and Finance may call the office at 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

The Office of Permits and Inspection Services will also assist residents remotely until further notice. For permit and licensing needs, residents are encourage to visit 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.

3-1-1 Continues to Assist Residents

Operators at the City of Buffalo’s 3-1-1 Call and Resolution Center continue to work remotely to assist residents with any non-emergency needs. The Department has been recognized nationally for its ability to maintain delivery of quality services during the COVID-19 emergency. If you need assistance, please call 3-1-1.

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 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 restrictions go into effect Friday, November 20th. High-risk businesses personal care businesses such as gyms, hair and nail salons, barbers, cosmetologists, tattoo and piercing studios, laser hair removal and other 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 10pm.

The Orange Zone restrictions also limits both residential and non-residential gatherings to 10 people maximum both indoors and outdoors. 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

Mayor Brown Extends Suspension of the Start of Winter Parking Regulations on Bus Routes

Mayor Brown today announced that Winter Parking Regulations on Bus Routes have been suspended until Monday, November 30th at 1:30am. The Winter Parking Regulations on Bus Routes were set to take effect on November 23rd. Mayor Brown also announced that side streets in the City of Buffalo with 9am - 4pm alternate parking designations have also been suspended until November 30th. Parking officials remind residents that all other parking regulations remain in place.

Indoor Pools Closed

Mayor Brown today announced that the City of Buffalo’s two indoor pools, Lovejoy Pool located at 1171 E. Lovejoy Street and the Connors, Cait, Harrity Memorial Pool located in Cazenovia Park, are both closed until further notice.

Ice Rinks Closed

All three City of Buffalo Indoor Ice Rinks, Bud Bakewell Rink at Riverside Park, Lafayette Ice Rink on Tacoma Avenue and Timothy J. Burvid Rink at Cazenovia Park, will be closed as of Friday until further notice. Reopening will be determined pending additional guidance by New York State and Erie County Departments of Health.

Dog Park and Skate Areas Reopen at Centennial Park, Shoreline Remains Closed

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.

COVID-19 testing available

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

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