LETTER: Parent Urges School Committee to Mandate COVID Vaccinations

Dear School Committee,

As far as I’m aware, Watertown has not yet announced a policy for COVID vaccination in schools. I’m writing today to urge you to adopt a mandate as many other jurisdictions are now doing. COVID vaccines are safe and effective, and are by far the most effective way to prevent COVID outbreaks in our schools and keep our teachers and students safe. I got vaccinated at the first opportunity and will get my children vaccinated as soon as they are eligible. 

Masks, ventilation, social distancing, and testing can help, but there is a limit to what ventilation can do, and in many ways masks, social distancing, and testing are far more burdensome than getting a vaccine because the vaccine is two doses at single points in time, whereas masks and social distancing restrict what people can do every single day. It seems incongruous to mandate the less effective, more burdensome intervention, while leaving the more effective, less burdensome intervention up to the individual.

Watertown Library Will Start Requiring Masks for In-Person Visits

Watertown LibraryThe Watertown Free Public Library. The Watertown Library sent out the following information:

Beginning Monday, August 9, face masks will be required for all people ages two and older inside the Library. Current Library Hours:

Monday – Thursday: 9 AM – 9 PMFriday: 9 AM – 7 PMSaturday: 9 AM – 5 PMSunday: 1 PM – 5 PM

You are required to:

Wear a mask while using the children’s room, regardless of vaccination status. Follow CDC and Massachusetts mask and social distancing guidance for unvaccinated people.Beginning Monday, 8/9/21, masks will be required for all people ages two and older in the Library. 

Available Services

Library services have resumed. Library programming will be offered via Zoom and in-person outdoors through the summer. Meeting and study rooms are available for public use.

Watertown Planning for Opening of School; Looking at Masks, Testing & In-Person Classes

The beginning of the 2021-22 school year is just over a month away in Watertown, but some significant details remains uncertain due to the increased number of cases of COVID-19 in Massachusetts, particularly the Delta Variant. Superintendent Dede Galdston told the School Committee Monday night that she plans for in-person learning for all students, but there could be some virus-related requirements such as regular testing and wearing of masks. The final decision will come later this month. “I think it is too fluid, with what’s going on with the virus,” Galdston said. “As we get to mid- to later in August I will make a recommendation based on feedback — from the Health Department, from our teachers, from our families — to determine what is going to be the safest options for our students as we return to school on Sept.