COVID-19 Information

Getting tested and vaccinated for COVID-19 is not only about protecting yourself - it's also about protecting your family, friends, and community. Vaccination is critically important during the winter months, when indoor gatherings can lead to clusters of COVID-19 cases.

Testing is recommended if you develop any symptoms of COVID-19 or 5 days following a known close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. Several options for COVID-19 testing are available in southeastern Massachusetts:

Free at-home COVID-19 test kits are available at all New Bedford public library branches, while supplies last. Locations and hours: Library Location/Hours

COVID-19 vaccines are safe, effective, and available to nearly all Massachusetts residents for little or no cost. Everyone 6 months and older should get an updated 2023-2024 COVID-19 vaccine.

The New Bedford Health Department offers the vaccine to qualifying individuals without insurance through the Massachusetts COVID-19 Vaccine Bridge Access Program. To schedule an on-site or in-home appointment with the New Bedford Health Department, call the department's main line, 508-991-6199, between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday to Friday.

Individuals can find local pharmacies offering COVID-19 vaccines by entering their zip code at:

Homebound individuals can request an in-home vaccine appointment through the Massachusetts Department of Public Health: MDPH CV-19 In-Home Vaccination Program

Find information regarding COVID-19 transmission in Massachusetts: MA Respiratory Illness Reporting

COVID-19: About the Virus

ARCHIVE:* Late in 2019, a new coronavirus began spreading around the world. This coronavirus causes a disease called COVID-19, which can cause fever, cough, and shortness of breath.

In less than two years, the world has seen more than 240 million confirmed cases of COVID-19, and more than 4.9 million deaths. The U.S. has seen more than 45 million cases, including more than 734,000 deaths.

New Bedford has seen more than 18,000 cases since the pandemic began, and tragically, lost more than 500 of our citizens, neighbors, family members, and friends. The City urges anyone who is not yet vaccinated to get a shot at a local clinic, and help save lives and protect our communities.

COVID-19 news will continue to be updated, on this site and the Center for Disease Control’s website. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health website also includes information about the virus.

*Archived pages or sections contain outdated information and are shown to preserve records of the City's COVID-19 response

archive:* COVID-19 News

COVID Vaccines: English

Vacina de COVID-19: Português

Vacuna de COVID-19: Español

*Archived content can contain outdated information and is shown to preserve records of the City's COVID-19 response

archive: Reopening New Bedford in 2020

archive: Mask NB, Free Mask Distribution program launched in 2020

MaskNB was an initiative announced by Mayor Jon Mitchell in May 2020, in partnership with the Southeastern Massachusetts chapter of the American Red Cross and Joseph Abboud Manufacturing Corporation. Additional mask distribution followed in July and August 2020, with drive-through distribution events at the three New Bedford middle schools.

Distribution of free masks as part of MaskNB began in May 2020 and within weeks provided more than 52,000 masks to New Bedford residents.

Walk-up distribution events in several neighborhoods were planned, along with ward-based distribution by an organized drive-through system for cars, observing social distancing, at the New Bedford middle schools. Residents were asked to limit their mask requests to those in their household and/or any elderly or vulnerable neighbors.



Mayor Jon Mitchell announced the MaskNB initiative on May 14, 2020. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended the wearing of cloth face coverings in public where social distancing is difficult to maintain; cloth face coverings were not a substitute for medical-grade masks, but provided more protection against the spread of viruses than not covering one’s face. More information about the use and effectiveness of cloth face coverings to prevent the spread of COVID-19 was shared via:

City Offices & Facilities Status

Office/Facility Status
City Facilities Open
New Bedford Public Library Branches All branches open at regular hours
Senior Centers Open
Buttonwood Park Zoo Open
New Bedford Regional Airport Open
New Bedford Public Schools Open


City residents are encouraged to pay any bills online, by phone, by mail, or a drop-box location. Anyone with questions about paying bills remotely should contact the Treasurer’s Office at 508-979-1430.

Payment Method Details
Online Click here to pay bills online
By Phone Treasurer’s Office, 508-979-1430
By Mail Residents can use the mailing address printed on their bills or mail their bills to:
City Hall – Treasurer’s Office
133 William Street, Room 103
New Bedford, MA 02740
By Drop-Box Residents can also drop off payments without person-to-person interaction by using one of the city’s drop-boxes. These white drop boxes are located at:

Tracking COVID-19 in New Bedford

The New Bedford Health Department is no longer updating COVID-19 data on a monthly basis, in alignment with the national end of the federal public health emergency in May 2023. For updates on COVID-19 in Massachusetts, visit the MDPH COVID-19 Interactive Data Dashboard.

Data for local monthly reports during the pandemic was obtained from Massachusetts Virtual Epidemiologic Network (MAVEN), Massachusetts Immunization Information System (MIIS) and CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Summary.