BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — With 173 COVID-19 cases downstate and two major St. Patrick's Day parades scheduled in the City of Buffalo this weekend, Mayor Byron Brown says the city is operating under the assumption it is "going forward" with St. Patrick's Day festivities.
Meeting with journalists on Tuesday, Mayor Brown said his office is communicating with state and county health departments, and evaluating needs for all large special events hosted by the city, including St. Patrick's Day events.
"At this point, nothing in the City of Buffalo has been canceled or curtailed," Mayor Brown said. He added that a confirmed case in Western New York would be a "tipping point" in considering cancelation of large events. Right now there are no confirmed cases of coronavirus in Western New York.
"That would be extremely concerning and we would have to evaluate that if that in fact did occur, but a confirmed case would absolutely be the tipping point," remarked Mayor Brown.
While events in the city are going on as planned, the mayor does recommend a behavior change for citizens. Mayor Brown is encouraging people to use "elbow bumps" instead of shaking hands to avoid spreading germs.
"What I’m encouraging people to do is do an elbow, as opposed to shaking hands right now," Mayor Brown declared.