New Bedford will continue to serve residents while City facilities remain closed to public access.
Mayor Jon Mitchell has announced that the City of New Bedford will continue to serve the residents of the city and provide essential services remotely while City facilities remain closed to public access as part of the City’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak.
City facilities remain closed, with employees working remotely
In order to protect City employees and residents and stem the spread of COVID-19, the City is implementing the following measures and policies:
• For office-based employees, departments have arranged for remote work and flexible scheduling, all the while promoting effective social distancing, increased cleaning and promotion of good hygiene. Department heads are putting into place practices that manage remote work, such as daily virtual meetings among staff as well as regular communication.
• For employees not based in offices, their work will continue to be accomplished with measures in place that enforce appropriate social distancing and increased hygiene. The City’s custodial staff has worked continuously to thoroughly clean and sanitize work areas throughout City facilities.
Mayor Mitchell has instructed all departments that employees should be given reasonable scheduling flexibility concerning childcare and other important family needs at this time.
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).
• Hairdressers and barbers
• Nail salons
• Massage services
• Body art
• Body work
• 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.
Residents strongly encouraged to pay bills remotely
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 and in-person payment center
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
In-person payment is strongly discouraged if residents can pay by mail, online, by phone, or by drop-off. However, for residents who have no other option, the city will open an in-person payment center beginning Monday, March 22 at the Sixth Street entrance of City Hall, located at 133 William Street.
The payment center will be open 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, and will admit only one person at a time. Residents making a payment will be separated from a city staff member by a window with a secure drawer for payment, without direct person-to-person contact. Only cash payments will be accepted; all other payment types must be completed remotely.
All city bills including taxes and water bills can be paid there, but private utility bills such as gas and electric bills cannot be paid there.
Protecting the health of New Bedford’s residents
“I am implementing these measures in order to protect our residents,” said Mayor Jon Mitchell. “The spread of the Coronavirus is accelerating, and we cannot hesitate in taking actions that will enable our healthcare system to keep pace with the increasing threat.”
City continues to provide essential services
As New Bedford Public Schools remain closed, the schools have continued to distribute food to students across Greater New Bedford who need it, offering free breakfast and lunch pick-up Monday through Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at Campbell School, Carney Academy, Gomes School, Hayden-McFadden School, Keith Middle School, and Roosevelt Middle School. New Bedford Public Schools will also continue to plan and implement virtual learning so students can keep up with their learning at home.
Public safety agencies remain active and continue to respond to emergencies across the city. As always, for emergencies, residents should call 911. For non-emergency business with the Police Department, please use their business line at 508-991-6300. For non-emergency business with the Fire Department, please use their business line at 508-991-6124.
The New Bedford Public Library branches and Buttonwood Park Zoo remain closed to public access. The New Bedford Regional Airport remains open with limited public access.
The City is committed to keeping all residents informed of the latest news. Follow the City’s social media pages, including Mayor Jon Mitchell’s and the City of New Bedford’s Facebook pages, tune in to New Bedford Cable Access on Channel 18, and visit the City website at www.newbedford-ma.gov for regularly updated news.