Watertown Moves into Yellow for COVID Cases as Schools Looking at Reopening

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The state's COVID-19 Community Level Reporting map showing Watertown in yellow, or moderate risk for the spread of the virus. Previously Watertown had been green, or lower risk.

The state’s COVID-19 Community Level Reporting map showing Watertown in yellow, or moderate risk for the spread of the virus. Previously Watertown had been green, or lower risk.

The rate of infection in Watertown has risen into the moderate risk (yellow) category in the state’s COVID-19 Community Level reporting. On Monday, the School Committee will be discussing whether to open the Watertown Public Schools for hybrid learning.

Watertown’s infection rate is 4.5 per 100,000 residents, according to the state’s Community Level COVID-19 Reporting map. The town has had 21 new cases over the past two weeks, and has 471 cases total, according to the state’s website.

Superintendent Dede Galdston said that the School Committee will be discussing the COVID rates on Monday, but said it does not necessarily mean Watertown will not be starting hybrid for the elementary schools on Oct. 27, as the Bridge to Hybrid calls for.

“The state recommends waiting for three straight weeks with a designation before making a decision in any direction,” Galdston said Thursday. “We have been green for several weeks, so the move into yellow is week one for any kind of reconsideration. Additionally, yellow signals that districts should consider being in a hybrid or remote, depending on local circumstances.”

In the plan, the Middle and High Schools would open for hybrid no earlier than Nov. 30, but at the last meeting School Committee members indicated they may want to move that date up.

At previous School Committee meetings, Galdston said that other considerations will be the positive testing rates in Watertown, and the rates in surrounding towns and in Middlesex County.

Watertown’s positive test rate is 0.70 percent, and Galdston said at a meting in September that under 5 percent is considered good. Belmont, Cambridge and Newton are green (lower-risk), but Waltham and Boston are red (higher risk).

The School Committee will meet Monday, Oct. 19 at 7 p.m. and a vote on moving to hybrid is on the agenda.

The public can participate on Zoom (link: https://bit.ly/34S1YtL), or questions can be texted to 617-581-7037. The meeting will be broadcast by Watertown Cable Access’ Education Channel (Channel 8 Comcast and Channel 15 RCN) or online at https://wcatv.org/

7 thoughts on “Watertown Moves into Yellow for COVID Cases as Schools Looking at Reopening

  1. The common cold, the flu, and numerous other viruses are constantly infecting people in the U.S.

    Exactly how is it that Covid-19, more than any other virus, is such a danger in Watertown that we must take such draconian measures?

    Flu sickens and kills people too, especially seniors who have pre-existing conditions.

    I have had the flu a few times and it’s terrible. Doctors says that the flu vaccine is maybe 40% effective and it can cause side effects too. We don’t lockdown or wear masks for flu. Should we?

    I think these lockdowns and paranoia have gone way too far and many people do not see the justification.

    Since when do we all have to march in lockstep on the basis of flimsy evidence? What has happened to our common sense?

    • COVID has killed 218,000 Americans. That is approximately four times the number of Americans killed in the Viet Nam war. You consider that flimsy evidence?

      In addition to being far deadlier than the flu (at least six times as deadly) COVID attacks vital organs and many patients with severe cases suffer lingering, perhaps permanent, cognitive impairment. Just look at Eduardo Rodriguez, the Red Sox pitcher who couldn’t play this year because the virus left him with cardiac inflammation. He is only 27 years old.

      Though there is a lot we don’t know about COVID, caution and the severity of this disease make vigilance the most sensible strategy. The restrictions have been meant to protect our health and our lives and to suggest that there are ulterior motives at play is irresponsible.

  2. You people are chasing your tail! 4.5 per 100,00???? Does that make any sense to keep schools from reopening? Use your common sense on this one, somebody…, please?

  3. Joe
    You take all statistics as gospel? COVID was counted in deaths of heart attacks, cancer, accidents, etc. do the research. People have stood in line early on to be tested. If too long they left after signing up. They suddenly received “positive “ results in mail. I know 3 personally. Use common sense kids and young are not dying!

    • Sorry Sid, but your information is wrong. You should check better sources. Actually the 218,000 number is thought to be undercounted, as it is thought that many deaths from COVID were not identified, especially at the onset of the pandemic.

      While it is true that kids and young people tend to have less severe symptoms, it is not true that they do not get COVID and the resulting organ damage might affect them for the rest of their lives. It is also not true that kids and young people don’t spread the disease–they do. They can infect their elders who will have a more severe experience with COVID.

      Don’t know about these false positives of people who weren’t tested, but as Charlie said, you should bring them forth so that he can report there stories.

      For you to try and minimize this dangerous virus is patently irresponsible. I hope that you stay healthy, for your own sake.

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