NEW BEDFORD — Those living in nursing homes and senior living facilities in the city can once again have visitors.

Mayor Jon Mitchell and the New Bedford Board of Health have rescinded an earlier restriction on those visits now that the residents of such facilities have widely been vaccinated against COVID-19. The new emergency order will be effective Monday, March 8 and visitations can begin on that date.

While the decision does rescind the December 14 emergency order that prohibited visitation at nursing homes, long-term care facilities and senior living facilities, there will still be “stringent public health protocols and reporting requirements to ensure the health and safety of all senior residents,” according to a release.

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“Our goal during the surges in virus transmission was always to protect the most vulnerable among us until they had the opportunity to be vaccinated,” Mayor Mitchell said. “Now that the initial phases of vaccinations of residents at nursing homes and senior living facilities have taken place, we can once again permit visitation with health and safety protocols so that families can visit their loved ones.”

The state’s and City’s latest guidance allows for in-person visitation with social distancing, screening, mask-wearing, and other protective measures.

LOOK: Answers to 30 common COVID-19 vaccine questions

While much is still unknown about the coronavirus and the future, what is known is that the currently available vaccines have gone through all three trial phases and are safe and effective. It will be necessary for as many Americans as possible to be vaccinated in order to finally return to some level of pre-pandemic normalcy, and hopefully these 30 answers provided here will help readers get vaccinated as soon they are able.