The number of coronavirus cases in New Bedford continues to climb, and sadly, so does the death toll. Mayor Jon Mitchell provided an update Tuesday afternoon on his Facebook page.

"I'm saddened to report that New Bedford has reached a total of 7 people who have died as a result of COVID-19 as of today. Our City's thoughts are with their families and loved ones. We must all continue to remain vigilant in protecting ourselves and others from the virus," Mitchell posted.

During a telephone interview with Barry Richard on WBSM, Mitchell cautioned against opening up the economy too quickly, saying more testing was needed before that could be considered. He also said he'll be talking with the organizers of New Bedford's many summer festivals to determine the best course of action.

"Taste of the Southcoast," an annual event staged by the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick, will not be held on May 17. The organization says they're going to wait out the pandemic, and then meet to decide whether another date can work this year.

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