New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell announced today that two city residents who had contracted COVID-19 have died.

"I am saddened to announce the Covid-related deaths of two #NewBedford residents. Our city's prayers are with their families," Mitchell wrote on Twitter.

Separately, Mitchell warned city residents to keep adhering to tough social distancing protocols, saying "this is not the time to take a victory lap." The mayor noted that City Hall has been lit up red as a symbol of gratitude to first responders and medical professionals on the front lines.

As of today, New Bedford has recorded 81 positive cases of COVID-19, up from 65 on Monday. Officials at SouthCoast Health say coronavirus numbers have not yet peaked in southeastern Massachusetts.

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health announced 96 new COVID-19 deaths in recent days, bringing the state's total to 356. As of Tuesday afternoon, there were 15,202 positive cases across Massachusetts, up 1,365 from the day before.

Earlier this week Fairhaven reported two coronavirus deaths.

LIVE UPDATES: Coronavirus in New Bedford/Fall River, MA

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