WATERTOWN — Nobody used the word overwhelmed, but they came close Monday night.
Watertown Health Officer Carol Quest told the common council she is engrossed in the rising number of COVID-19 cases within Watertown.
“Today (Monday) was a very busy,” Quest said during Watertown Common Council’s meeting, “We had 47 positive cases when my staff left at 5:30 this evening. It’s been very busy for us. We have active disease in our community.”
In the bimonthly COVID-19 update, Quest said there have been 8,470 total investigations with 6,991 that are not positive cases. She said there have been 915 confirmed cases with 5% of those positive cases needing to be hospitalized. She said 757 of the positives have recovered, but there are currently 158 active cases, 232 open contacts with five probable cases and 327 suspect cases in the city.
She said the age groups most affected by COVID-19 are 14-17-year-olds and 20-29-years-old.
Watertown Mayor Emily McFarland said the city’s health department remains closed to the public except for individuals who have appointments. She said since voting has come to an end, city hall will remain closed Tuesdays and Thursdays until the city begins collecting its property taxes.
“We will have hours people can come in to pay,” McFarland said. “The reason I share that with you is that we are not immune to this virus as a city team. We do have cases and quarantines kind of sprinkled out all over our city departments. We will continue to hold the line on face coverings and social distancing.”
Watertown Council President Chris Ruetten asked Quest if the influx of the COVID-19 cases are linked to any one event.
“Are they from people attending weddings or school?” he asked.
“It’s a little bit of everything,” Quest replied.
Watertown Alderman Tom Pasch asked Quest if anyone in the Watertown community has had antibody testing, which checks one’s blood by looking for coronavirus antibodies, which may tell if the individual had a past infection with the virus that causes COVID-19.
Quest said there have been people who have requested it and it’s available.