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Warren, Singletary ask city residents to be smart about small gatherings

Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren urges caution as small groups under 10 people plan to gather for the holiday weekend.
Max Schulte
Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren urges caution as small groups under 10 people plan to gather for the holiday weekend.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said this week that groups of 10 or less people will be allowed to gather for the Memorial Day holiday. But Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren wants city residents to be careful when they do so.

“We understand it’s getting warm. You want to see your friends. You want to see your family. Be safe. But also be smart,” Warren said. “Protect your circle.”

Warren said that the smart approach to these small gatherings is to wear a mask and keep a distance of 6 feet from people outside of your household.

When questioned whether the city would use different tactics to inform and enforce social distancing in different neighborhoods, after recent incidents of residents throwing bottles and rocks at police officers responding to mass gatherings, Warren said absolutely not.

“We’re all in this together,” said Warren. “We’re not going to have one set of standards for people who live in certain neighborhoods, and a different set of standards for people who work in other neighborhoods. That’s just not going to happen.”

Police Chief La'Ron Singletary said Rochester Police have not ticketed or arrested anyone for not following social distancing guidelines and he expects that to continue as they respond to calls about noise and public gatherings

“We will not be taking people to jail for social distancing. We will continue to educate throughout this process,” said Singletary. “This weekend may be a true barometer on how quickly we return from being stagnant to how quickly we return to some sense of normality in our community."”

Singletary said that residents can expect increased patrols at city beaches and all neighborhoods over the weekend as they expect more people to go outside.

James Brown is a reporter with WXXI News. James previously spent a decade in marketing communications, while freelance writing for CITY Newspaper. While at CITY, his reporting focused primarily on arts and entertainment.