Burials at Local Cemeteries Spiked During COVID-19 Surge in Massachusetts

Gravestones at Mount Auburn Cemetery. Two of the largest cemeteries in Watertown saw a huge increase in the number of burials during the height of the COVID-19 outbreak in Massachusetts. At the Town-operated Ridgelawn Cemetery, the number of burials almost doubled compared to a year ago, according to Jesse Myott, Department of Public Works Director of Administration & Finance. “The last few months we have seen a significant increase in — not to be cold, but — cemetery operations,” Myott told the Town Council last week. “It is nothing like anything that any of our senior staff has ever seen, and we have a number of 10 and 20 year veterans.

Four More Watertown Restaurants Approved for Outdoor Dining

Deluxe Town Diner was one of several Watertown restaurants recently approved to have outdoor seating. Four Watertown restaurants have been allowed to add outdoor dining this week, bringing the number up to 15 that have received the special permission from the Town to expand capacity during the COVID-19 restrictions. The special outdoor seating permission is approved by Town Manager Michael Driscoll, who included the list of restaurants in his most recent COVID-19 Update (click here to view it). Two are located near Watertown Square, one south of the Charles River and one is on the Westside. Halfway Cafe, west of Watertown Square on Main Street has been given permission.

Gov. Approves Opening of Gyms, Museums, Cinemas & More in Phase 3 of COVID Reopening

Gov. Charlie Baker, with Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito. Beginning Monday, July 6, gyms, movie theaters and museums will be allowed to reopen as part of Phase 3 of Massachusetts’ COVID-19 reopening plan. Also allowed will be weddings and professional sporting events, but both have significant limitations. Gov. Charlie Baker announced the beginning of Phase 3 Thursday afternoon, and said residents of the state have done a good job slowing the spread of COVID-19. He added that Phase 3 will not start in the City of Boston until Monday, July 13.

See the Rules for Using Watertown’s Basketball Courts, Playgrounds & Picnic Areas

Watertown’s basketball courts, like this one at Casey Park, have reopened with COVID-19 social distancing restrictions. The Watertown Recreation Department reopened basketball courts, playgrounds and picnic tables in public parks on June 24, but social distancing rules and other requirements apply to users. Playgrounds and basketball courts are limited to Watertown residents only. Playgrounds

Face coverings must be worn at playgrounds and tot lots, unless a person has an underlying health condition preventing them from doing so. Users must remain at least 6 feet apart.

Arsenal Yards Eatery Latest to Get Outdoor Seating Permit

City Works Pour House Eatery will be coming to the Arsenal Yards, featuring 90 different beers and indoor and outdoor seating. The City Works Eatery & Pour House received permission to have temporary outdoor seating during the COVID-19 pandemic, giving Watertown 11 restaurants which have received the permits. The permits have been given as part of an effort to increase the seating at restaurants, which have had their seating restricted due to the state’s COVID-19 guidelines. Tables must be at least 6 feet apart and parties can be no bigger than six. As of June 22, restaurants can seat diners indoors, but the same social distancing requirements apply.

See the Watertown Restaurants Approved for Outdoor Seating

Deluxe Town Diner was one of several Watertown restaurants recently approved to have outdoor seating. Ten Watertown restaurants have been approved to have outdoor by the Town as part of a the COVID-19 reopening. Last week, the Licensing Board approved a temporary measure to allow Town Manager Michael Driscoll to approve temporary outdoor seating at restaurants in town. The following restaurants have been approved to have outdoor seating:

Gerry’s Italian Kitchen1072 Belmont Street

La Bodega21 Nichols Avenue

Conley’s Pub & Grille164 Belmont Street

Deluxe Town Diner627 Mount Auburn Street

Greg’s Restaurant821 Mount Auburn Street

Ixtapa Mexican Grill18 Mount Auburn Street

Ritcey East208 Waverley Avenue

Shiraz Cuisine72 Bigelow Avenue

Stellina47 Main Street

Tresca’s Eating Place25 Church Street

Before the local measure was passed, restaurants already approved to have outdoor seating could open on June 8, when Phase 2 of Gov. Baker’s reopening plan began. On June 22, restaurants can also start serving food indoors, with tables spaced at least 6 feet apart and parties no larger than six people.

Playgrounds, Courts & Town Hall Reopening; Town Budget, Hosmer Traffic to be Discussed

Tot lots and playgrounds will reopen this week, along with basketball courts and picnic and grilling areas in Watertown’s parks. Playgrounds and tot-lots will reopen this week, along with basketball courts and other Recreation facilities. Also this week, the Town Council will hold budget hearings, and traffic around Hosmer School during construction is on the Traffic Commission’s agenda. Town Manager Michael Driscoll announced that more Recreational facilities will reopen after being closed to the public during the COVID-19 shutdown. On Wednesday, June 24th, playgrounds and tot lots, basketball courts, and picnic tables and grills (by permit only) will reopen.

Members of Class of 2020 Receive Their Diplomas — Social Distancing Style

A Watertown high School senior smiles for photos after getting his diploma during a unique graduation ceremony for the Class of 2020, standing next to WHS Principal Shirley Lundberg. Watertown High School’s seniors claimed their diplomas in person at Victory Field on Saturday, but that was about all that was normal about graduation day for the Class of 2020. The atmosphere around Victory Field because the frenzy of activity was just spread out throughout the day as Watertown Public School officials put on a socially distanced ceremony to comply with the state’s COVID-19 guidelines. Each half hour a set of cars pulled up, the graduate stepped out and walked up to a small stage where Principal Shirley Lundberg waited with a diploma. Meanwhile, the family could stand along the small fence along the baseball field to cheer and take photos.