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Inauguration plans for incoming Mayor Malik Evans scaled back due to COVID spike

Malik Evans file photo
Jeremy Moule/CITY Magazine file photo
Incoming Rochester Mayor Malik Evans

The rising numbers of local COVID-19 cases are changing some of the plans for the new Mayor of Rochester.

Malik Evans is due to be inaugurated at the Eastman Theatre at noon on Saturday.

But on Friday, Evans said that he will have only a very small number of people on hand to watch in person, and he is encouraging Rochesterians to watch the event on the livestream that the city will have on its website on Saturday.

On Friday, Monroe County reported another 2,156 new cases of COVID-19.

518 people in the Finger Lakes region are hospitalized (up 1 from Thursday’s numbers). 121 are in the ICU (same as the previous day).

Officials have been saying that due to the recent holiday, there was a significant delay in reporting of test results, and this backlog will take several days to clear.

Evans called the recent COVID-19 infection numbers eye-popping.

"So because of that, as much as I want to celebrate, being elected mayor is a big deal for me, it’s a big deal for a lot of my friends and family, but I’m going to have an empty theater with probably just my closest family tomorrow,” said Evans.

Evans is also scaling back plans for a post inauguration party and he said that people interested in an event he’s taking part at the Aenon Missionary Baptist Church on Sunday or a teen town hall on Tuesday, should also watch those events online, since they will be mostly virtual now for safety reasons.

WXXI will have live coverage of the inauguration Saturday at noon on AM 1370, FM 107.5 and streaming at

Randy Gorbman is WXXI's director of news and public affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.