The Watertown Board of Health has removed the requirement for face masks to be worn while indoors in Watertown. The requirement had been put into place on Aug. 25, and as of Oct. 21 has been lifted. The board voted to rescind the requirement on Oct.
On August 23, 2021, a Watertown non-elected local governmental body decided that 36,000 Watertown residents must, as of August 25, 2021, wear masks while indoors stating, ‘The Watertown Board of Health has issued an Order mandating the wearing of face coverings indoors throughout Watertown.”
In so doing, a small group of appointed individuals with varying levels of medical and public health credentialing mandated that we, the residents of Watertown, MA, cannot decide for ourselves when and where to wear a mask to manage our own health. The Watertown Board of Health’s (Board) mask mandate is troubling. The Board has decided that 36,000 people are incapable of discerning their own private health needs and risk tolerance. In forcing a mask mandate, the Board effectively treats Watertown’s population like children who lack judgment. The Board’s insistence on a mask mandate in light of the data should give us pause.
The Watertown Board of Health approved a requirement for face coverings to be worn indoors in Town. The requirement begins Wednesday, Aug. 25. The board voted unanimously in favor of the order at a special board meeting on Monday evening.
Dr. Barbara Beck. Watertown resident Barbara Beck, a longtime member of the Board of Health, received two recent honors involving her work in toxicology. Recently she was elected as a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and was also appointed to serve as vice chair of the Science Advisory Board of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Becoming an AAAS fellow was a recognition by Beck’s peers. “It is really an honor. It doesn’t involve any activities,” Beck said.
Dr. Barbara Beck. The following announcement was provided by the Watertown Health Department:
Dr. Barbara Beck, Watertown Board of Health Member was recently named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Election as an AAAS Fellow is an honor bestowed upon AAAS members by their peers.
Dr. Beck was elected as an AAAS Fellow for “For meritorious contributions to the fields of toxicology and risk assessment, particularly for pioneering work on the evaluation of health risks of environmental chemicals.” Additionally, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced her appointment to serve as Vice-Chair of the Science Advisory Board (SAB). Dr. Beck will continue her service as a Watertown Board of Health Member throughout her term as Vice-Chair of the SAB.
Watertown Health Director Larry Ramdin said he was “extremely disappointed” with Gov. Charlie Baker’s decision to remove local health departments from the COVID-19 vaccination process and handing it to privately run vaccination sites. Ramdin told the Board of Health that received word of the change on Wednesday, the same day that the Watertown Health Department gave vaccines to 100 residents age 75 or older. He said health departments have better training and can administer more doses than pharmacies and other vaccination sites. “We have been going through this. Every one of the clinics we host is a drill for an emergency dispensing site.
Watertown Fire Chief Bob Quinn gets a COVID-19 vaccination shot during the clinic for police and firefighters run by the Watertown Health Department last week. The light at the end of the COVID-19 tunnel can be seen, with the first vaccinations by the Watertown Health Department starting last week, but Health Director Larry Ramdin said people must continue their virus prevention practices even after they get their shots. On Jan. 14 and 15, members of the Watertown Police and Fire departments received their first COVID-19 vaccine shots, Ramdin said. He and Public Health Nurse Wil VanDinter have begun planning for public clinics in Town, but do not know when they will be able to administer the vaccine to the general public, Ramdin said.