New Bedford senior center closed until further notice due to COVID-19 concerns

SE Mass

NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (WPRI) — Given the recent spike in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, one of the senior centers in New Bedford has decided to shut down for the time being.

Debra Lee, director of the city’s Council on Aging, announced Tuesday that the Buttonwood Senior Center will remain closed until case numbers “show some consistency in reduction.”

“With the number of COVID-19 cases rising rapidly across the region and entire state, the last thing we want to do, in accounting for everyone’s health and safety, is encourage our seniors to congregate,” Lee said. “The Council is sorry for any inconvenience this might cause, but safety must take precedence as this pandemic continues.”

Earlier this month, the council said it would be suspending transportation services for anything other than social day programming due to transmission concerns.

Gov. Charlie Baker on Tuesday announced additional measures to address the rise in cases and the state’s understaffed health care system, which included enlisting the Massachusetts National Guard’s help and asking hospitals to postpone nonessential procedures.

He also recommended that all residents wear masks indoors, regardless of vaccination status.

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