COVID-19 Updates

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.

Several COVID-19 testing sites are available in New Bedford and can be found on the state’s Stop the Spread website:

Find local pharmacies offering COVID-19 vaccines by entering your zip code at:

To schedule an in-home vaccination 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.

COVID-19: About the Virus

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 400 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.

Anyone experiencing symptoms listed below should contact their healthcare provider before seeking treatment in person.

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.


The New Bedford Health Department recommends to following steps to prevent the spread of the virus, as well as other viruses:


Wash your hands often, using soap and warm water, for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer (at least 60% alcohol) if soap and water are not available.


Avoid touching your face, eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.


Avoid contact with people who are sick.


If you are feeling sick, stay home.


Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, and then throw the tissue in the trash. Cough or sneeze into your sleeve rather than into your hands.


Clean and disinfect touched objects and surfaces frequently.

The CDC’s website has a page dedicated to protecting yourself and others from the spread of the virus.


The 2019 Novel Coronavirus is a respiratory virus that may cause mild to severe respiratory symptoms including:





shortness of breath

Trouble breathing/shortness of breath


Pneumonia (fluid in the lungs) in severe cases

The CDC’s website has a page dedicated to COVID-19 symptoms.

Call ahead to a healthcare provider if you develop these symptoms and have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19, or if you live in or have recently traveled to an area with an ongoing spread of the virus. Tell your healthcare provider about your recent travel and/or contact with those who may have been traveling over the past 2-14 days.

For Recent International Travelers to Areas of Concern:

If you traveled recently to areas of concern and have symptoms including fever, cough, or trouble breathing:

seek medical care

Seek medical care right away. Call your healthcare provider first to tell them about your travel and symptoms.


Avoid contact with others.

avoid travel

Avoid further travel.


Stay home, except to seek medical care.


Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, and then throw the tissue in the trash. Cough or sneeze into your sleeve rather than into your hands.


Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, and then throw the tissue in the trash. Cough or sneeze into your sleeve rather than into your hands.

COVID-19 News

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 Buttonwood Park Senior Center closed in December 2021, until further notice
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

As of August 1st, the health department is updating COVID-19 data reporting on a monthly basis, to reflect the evolving COVID-19 response in the city. For more frequent updates on COVID-19 in Massachusetts, visit the MDPH COVID-19 Interactive Data Dashboard.

Data obtained from Massachusetts Virtual Epidemiologic Network (MAVEN), Massachusetts Immunization Information System (MIIS) and CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Summary