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"All hands on deck": City of Buffalo responds to influx of COVID-19 on Upper East Side

Posted at 5:18 PM, Apr 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-08 17:18:47-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Mayor Byron Brown said the City of Buffalo was concerned about certain areas that might be hit hard even before the novel coronavirus came to Western New York.

“We were concerned there would be communities that would be heavily impacted by this,” he said on a call with 7 Eyewitness News.

“We have been providing information to community groups, stressing social distancing, removed basketball rims, closed playgrounds, had calls with clergy and block clubs, launched the good neighbors network to help people stay connected.”

Brown says he has seen the sharp rise in cases in the 14215 zip code which includes a large portion of the city’s Upper East Side, and plans to put every resource available towards helping combat the spread in that neighborhood.

“There are things we can do clearly, there are resources we can provide, The City is going to act as a facilitator to do that. It will be all hands on deck to provide resources and we want to be there for our residents, our job is to be there for our residents, and we will do everything we possibly can to do that.”

The County Executive and Mayor talk daily, sometimes twice a day, said Brown. And he credits Mark Poloncarz with listening to the needs of “trusted voices” in the community to help provide more information.

And in any crises, people in Black and impoverished neighborhoods aren’t necessarily looking to elected leaders, said Brown. They’re looking to their block club leaders and religious leaders in the community for information.

Brown said it’s critical to get these people accessible information to disseminate to their neighborhoods.

“As we've gotten information from the federal government, state government, county government — we've tried to synthesize that information. Make it easier to understand; and we've provided that information in the City of Buffalo in a variety of ways to our residents…(we are) certainly doing that in the most impacted areas in the city.”