City Receives More Than 30 Applications for ARPA Funds

The City of Watertown has $10.5 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds that can be spent on a variety of areas as part of Pandemic recovery. The City Council requested proposals for use of the money and received 32 applications from City departments, community organizations, individuals, or a combination of those. The requests total nearly $24 million in funds, and include areas such as affordable housing, food pantries, and social workers. The City has several applications, including multiple for water infrastructure projects. The Watertown Library seeks to build another study/work room.

Free COVID Tests Available from the Watertown Health Department

The following announcement was provided by the Watertown Health Department:

Before you gather for the holidays, plan ahead and get FREE COVID-19 antigen test kits which are available in Watertown City Hall. Stop by the Health Department on the first floor in City Hall at 149 Main St., Watertown and pick some up! City Hall Hours:

Monday through Friday: 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Please note that City Hall closes at noon on December 23, and is closed on December 26, 2022, and January 2, 2023. Information about the Health Department can be found here.

COVID Cases in Watertown Schools Went Beyond What Officials Expected, New Protocols Discussed

The number of COVID-19 cases in the Watertown Public Schools was beyond what officials expected, and the way that pool testing will be administered has changed so not as many students need to be retested. Superintendent Dede Galdston discussed the upsurge in COVID-19 cases in the schools, and the steps being taken to prevent the spread. She added that the number of positive cases in the week after Winter Break, 193, was by far the most seen in the Watertown Schools since the pandemic began. “What we experienced last week was not something any of us were prepared for. I am not sure any of us in any district were truly prepared for what happened last week,” Galdston said, who told the School Committee that she is in quarantine herself after testing positive for COVID-19.

Watertown Schools Opening Late Wednesday, Over 100 Positive COVID Tests

The Watertown Public Schools had more than 100 positive COVID-19 tests after retesting on Tuesday. Classes will start late on Wednesday. The positive tests were more than 10 times more than has been seen in the Watertown Schools, said Superintendent Dede Galdston. The arrival time for Watertown Schools are: 10 a.m. for Early Steps Preschool, 10:15 a.m. for the elementary schools, and 10:30 a.m. for the middle and high schools. See more details in the letter sent out by Galdston on Tuesday:

Good evening, WPS Community:

We deeply appreciate your patience today as we appropriately responded to the overnight Covid pool test results.