Health Department Shares Ways to Have Halloween During COVID-19

The following announcement was provided by the Watertown Health Department:

For residents planning to celebrate Halloween, Saturday, October 31 st , the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) is recommending that you follow safe and healthy tips to participate in Halloween activities that may limit the risk of exposure to COVID-19. As a reminder, any Halloween activities are subject to the current state gathering size limits as well as applicable sector-specific workplace safety standards. Consistent with the Halloween activity guidance released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, some things to keep in mind in celebrating Halloween this year include:

Trick or Treating with Kids and Passing Treats Out at Home

Enjoy Halloween outside rather than attending indoor events.Place candy on a platter instead of a bowl.Instead of traditional trick or treating, opt for one-way trick-or-treating, with treats placed outside of the home for trick-or-treaters as a “grab and go” while keeping distance from others.Consider leaving hand sanitizer by any treats left out for trick-or-treaters to use. Masks – Mask Up MA

Wear a face mask or face covering. For more information on face masks and face coverings, please see the state’s Mask Up MA webpage.A costume mask is not a substitute for a face mask or face covering.

Town Running Flu Clinics, Offering Walk Through & Drive Through Options

Watertown Town Hall

The Watertown Health Department will be running flu clinics. Residents can attend walk through or drive through clinics. The Health Department provided the following information:

When going to get a flu vaccine during COVID-19,  it is essential you follow all the protective protocols; wear a mask/face covering, social distance and must be COVID-19 free for a minimum of three days. Watertown Health Department recommends children from 6 months to 14 years go to their pediatrician for their vaccines. 

You can obtain a Flu Vaccine Insurance Form at the Town Hall, customer service window on Thaxter Street side or the Lower Hearing Room next to the park. 

Watertown Flu Vaccine Clinics For Watertown Residents 15 and Older

Drive Thru Dates: Saturday, October 10th, 9am‐ 2pmSaturday, November 7th, 9am‐ 2pm

Walk Thru Dates For residents 65+:

Saturday, October 10th, 9am‐12pmSaturday, October 24th, 9am‐12pm

REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED! https://www.eventbrite.com/e/flu-vaccine-clinic-drive-thru-tickets-118961291425

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/flu-vaccine-walk-in-clinic-tickets-120442477693

For more information and required forms please visit: https://www.watertown-ma.gov/1019/Seasonal-Influenza-and-Clinicsor call the Health Department at 617-972-6446

Watertown Resident Tests Positive for West Nile Virus, Tips for Avoiding Mosquitos

The following announcement was provided by the Watertown Health Department:

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) announced today a human case of West Nile virus (WNV) in Watertown. This case represents the second human case of West Nile Virus in our community. This raisesthe risk level to HIGH in our Watertown. Although serious illness caused by WNV is uncommon, there have been 206 cases of WNV in Massachusetts between 2001 and 2019. There were five human cases of WNV in 2019, and 49 human cases in 2018.

Health Department Reminder for Labor Day About Limits on Gatherings Due to COVID-19

The Watertown Health Department sent out the following announcement about Labor Day Gatherings and COVID-19:

As we are approaching the long weekend the Watertown Health Department would like to remind you of the guidance from the state regarding social gatherings and the importance of social distancing. For all gatherings there can only be eight people per 1,000 square feet with a maximum of 25 people indoors and 50 people outdoors. Please remember to wash your hands often, wear face coverings, and maintain social distancing at all times. We are working together to stop the spread of COVID-19. Please remember that these guidelines are in place to protect each of us and our community.

Rising COVID-19 Cases Concerns Watertown Health Director

An upturn in the new COVID-19 cases concerns Watertown Health Director Larry Ramdin, who worries that the state may go back into more strict shutdown rules if the trend gets worse. During the first week of August, Watertown had its first COVID fatality reported since the second week of May, bringing the total to 24. For the first time in several weeks, the number of new positive COVID-19 cases is into the double digits in Watertown, and the state numbers are growing by around 2,000 a week. “People are going on vacation, it is summer, there is a little complacency,” Ramdin said. “People are going to social gatherings, they are not social distancing, not wearing face coverings, expose themselves.”

Mosquito in Watertown Tests Positive for West Nile Virus

The following information was provided by the Watertown Health Department:

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) announced today that West Nile virus (WNV) has been detected in mosquitoes collected from Watertown, Massachusetts. In 2019, 8,295 mosquito samples were tested forWNV and 87 samples were positive. Watertown had no WNV positive mosquito samples identified in 2019. WNV is most commonly transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected mosquito. The mosquitoes that carry this virus are common throughout the state and are found in urban as well as more rural areas.

Heath Director: Watertown Complying With Face Mask Order, Worries About Complacency

Watertown has one of the strictest face covering order, where people must wear them outside at all times or face fines, but the Town has taken an educate-first approach to enforcement. The state has a face covering requirement as one of the measures aimed at stopping the spread of COVID-19, and it requires people to wear something that covers their nose and mouth when inside a public space or outside when people cannot be 6 feet or more away from each other. The face coverings ordinance passed by the Watertown Board of Health in April requires face coverings being worn at all times while outside in public spaces such as sidewalks and on the street The ordinance also allows a Health Department employee or Watertown Police officer to issue a fine of up to $300. Watertown Director of Health Larry Ramdin said members of his department have spoken to people who were not wearing their masks, but no fines have been issued. “There has been significant compliance, we have (had) several conversations with those who choose not to wear a face covering,” Ramdin said.

Tracking COVID-19 Deaths, Tracing Contacts of People Testing Positive is Tricky for Watertown Officials

Details of the cause of death from the death certificate of a Watertown resident. Like many aspects of COVID-19, figuring out the exact number of deaths related to virus in Watertown is complicated and confusing. This is just one issue the Town of Watertown is facing, along with trying to trace contacts of people with active cases of the Coronavirus. The officially confirmed number of fatalities in Watertown, as of May 5, is 17 residents — up from 12 the previous day. When looking at the death certificates in the Town Clerk’s Office, as of May 4, 18 people who live in Watertown, or whose last known address was in Town had COVID-19 as one of the causes of death.