about the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

 Updated March 26, 2020

City Offices & Facilities

City facilities are closed to public access, beginning Tuesday, March 17.

New Bedford Public Library branches, senior centers, and the Buttonwood Park Zoo are closed.

The New Bedford Regional Airport remains open with limited public access.
New Bedford Public Schools are closed through at least April 7.

City residents are encouraged to pay any bills by mail, by phone, or online. Payments can be made online at the City’s website, www.newbedford-ma.gov, and selecting ‘Pay Bills’ directly on the home page. To mail payments, residents can use the mailing address printed on their bills or mail their bills directly to the City Treasurer at the following address:

City Hall – Treasurer’s Office
133 William Street, Room 103
New Bedford, MA 02740

Anyone with questions about paying bills remotely should contact the Treasurer’s Office at 508-979-1430.

Drop-off locations

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:
– Corner of Elm and Sixth streets downtown
– City Hall, 133 William Street (two locations: main entrance and Sixth Street entrance)
– Department of Public Infrastructure, 1105 Shawmut Avenue

Personal care businesses including salons must close effective Monday, March 23, 2020

By joint order of the Mayor and Board of Health, personal care businesses which offer services to the public and cannot be provided at a distance of at least six feet, or which create an environment where public health is compromised, must close effective March 23, 2020 (with Sunday, March 22 as the last day of operation).

This includes:

  • Hairdressers and barbers
  • Nail salons
  • Massage services
  • Body art
  • Body work
  • Aestheticians
  • Day spas
  • Tanning salons
  • Fitness and exercise centers

This order does not include healthcare and allied healthcare service providers such as physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy or other medical services.


Governor Charlie Baker issued an emergency order requiring all businesses and organizations that do not provide “COVID-19 Essential Services” to close their physical workplaces and facilities to workers, customers and the public as of Tuesday, March 24 at noon until Tuesday, April 7 at noon. These businesses are encouraged to continue operations remotely.

The Baker-Polito Administration issued a list of designated businesses and other organizations that provide essential services and workforces related to COVID-19 that shall continue to operate brick and mortar facilities during this two-week time period. This list is based on federal guidance and amended to reflect the needs of Massachusetts’ unique economy. While these businesses are designated as essential, they are urged to follow social distancing protocols for workers in accordance with guidance from the Department of Public Health.

Businesses and organizations not on the list of essential services are encouraged to continue operations through remote means that do not require workers, customers, or the public to enter or appear at the brick-and-mortar premises closed by the order.

Latest Update


Local Healthcare Providers

For Businesses

For the Community

About COVID-19/Coronavirus

Recently, a new coronavirus, the 2019 Novel Coronavirus, first detected in China, began spreading to other parts of the world. This virus causes a disease called COVID-19, which can lead to fever, cough and shortness of breath.

There are now thousands of confirmed cases internationally, and the virus has begun to spread in the U.S., including a confirmed case of the virus in Massachusetts.

Anyone experiencing symptoms listed below, and has traveled to areas of concern, or has been in contact with someone who has traveled to these areas, should contact their healthcare provider before seeking treatment in person.

This situation will continue to be updated, including on this site and the Center for Disease Control’s website regarding the 2019 Coronavirus, which is regularly updated. 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 2019 Novel Coronavirus is a respiratory virus that may cause mild to severe respiratory symptoms including:

  • Cough
  • Fever
  • Trouble breathing/shortness of breath
  • Pneumonia (fluid in the lungs) in severe cases

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 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 right away. Call your healthcare provide first to tell them about your travel and symptoms.
  • Avoid contact with others. Stay home, except to seek medical care.
  • Avoid further travel.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, and throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Practice good coughing etiquette. Cough or sneeze into your sleeve, tissue and/or handkerchief and not your hands.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable.

COVID-19 News

New Bedford Health Department provides information on 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

New Bedford, Massachusetts– The New Bedford Health Department has posted helpful information on its website regarding the 2019 Novel Coronavirus, or COVID-19. The page is available on the City’s home page, www.newbedford-ma.gov, or on the Health Department’s page on the City website, under ‘News.’ The page will continue to be […]

Click for more.

Statement regarding the New Bedford Half Marathon

New Bedford, Massachusetts– The City of New Bedford and the New Bedford Half Marathon Committee together are announcing that the 2020 New Bedford Half Marathon, scheduled for Sunday, March 15, has been cancelled to ensure the health and safety of residents and runners. The risk level in Greater New Bedford […]

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Mayor Jon Mitchell updates the public on New Bedford’s response to COVID-19

New Bedford, Massachusetts– Mayor Jon Mitchell joined City officials on Friday to update the public on the City’s response to COVID-19. In accordance his legal authority, Mayor Mitchell has declared that a state of emergency now exists in New Bedford. This allows for the suspension of certain rules to expedite […]

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City facilities will close to public access from Tuesday, March 17 through at least Sunday, March 22

New Bedford, Massachusetts– Mayor Jon Mitchell has announced that City facilities will be closed to public access, beginning Tuesday, March 17, through at least Sunday, March 22. With the growing threat posed by the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), City government has begun to shift to a mode of service delivery that […]

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