More announcements are expected this weekend as New Bedford remains in a state of emergency because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Mayor Jon Mitchell told WBSM's Barry Richard on Saturday there are no confirmed cases in New Bedford, but it's inevitable there will be soon.

Mitchell says his administration is devising ways to keep employees, residents, and students safe.

"City Hall is on top of it. We have the health and welfare of our residents first and foremost on our minds. We're working around the clock to deal with this," said Mitchell.

Photo / City of New Bedford
Photo / City of New Bedford

There has been no testing for COVID-19 in New Bedford because kits are not yet available, so Mitchell is urging residents to practice good hygiene, avoid large crowds and stay home if they feel sick.

Public schools in New Bedford will be closed through March 23, and non-essential city employees are being encouraged to work from home. He also said closing City Hall to the public is also being considered.

The mayor said local businesses also have a role to play in stopping the spread of the virus.

"Make sure all of your employees are washing their hands, and make sure that you're are cleaning far more than you ordinarily would," he said.

The mayor added, "if your store starts to get a little crowded, maybe you should limit the number of people who come in."

The mayor expects to have more announcements by the end of the weekend and he's asking residents to "stay tuned."

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