Mayor Jon Mitchell and the New Bedford Board of Health have announced an update to New Bedford’s already strong rules designed to protect senior living facilities, nursing homes, and long-term care facilities from coronavirus spread.

Under an updated emergency order in effect August 24, visitation is allowed by appointment only and a daily log must be maintained by the facilities for contact tracing purposes. All nursing home and long-term care facility visits must comply with state guidance.

The update also allows for several large housing units to be utilized for in-person voting during the upcoming election, as some are designated polling places. Compliance with state mandates and city regulations around social distancing, the use of masks or face coverings, and strict hygiene and sanitation requirements will be required.

The public health regulations for senior living facilities and nursing homes first announced in April remain in place. The facilities must conduct regular wellness checks of all residents and notify the city's health department and the resident’s emergency contact if there is a problem. Mandatory stringent hygiene and sanitation precautions remain in effect, Mitchell's office said.

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