Coronavirus cases growing in SE Mass


NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (WPRI) — Mayor Jon Mitchell on Saturday confirmed New Bedford’s first case of the coronavirus.

The mayor said the presumptive positive test result came back for in a man who is now self-quarantining at home. He said the man is doing well and people who came in contact with him are also self-quarantining.

“People shouldn’t be surprised of this development at all. And I think it’s important today to release the fact of the presumptive positive case of the individual here in New Bedford. Because there is a risk here that we might think somehow we are not in the midst of all of it but we are,” Mayor Mitchell said.

The mayor says he expects more positive cases as more testing kits become available. Right now, he says Bristol County needs more kits.

“Now more test kits are coming in and tests are being done but not nearly as much as we’d like. So the 500 test kits that South Coast just got is good news but frankly just in this area and our metro area of 250,000 we need thousands of kits.”

Fall River also announced on Saturday its first presumptive case of COVID-19.

In a news release, the city said the resident is now isolated and all those potentially exposed have been contacted and are in quarantine.

The number of presumptive and confirmed cases in Bristol County stands at 14.

Mayor Mitchell said he is planning to order the shut down of city facilities and all personal care businesses on Monday.

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