Yesterday the County of San Diego health officer shared that a recent analysis of San Diego County data revealed San Diegans are waiting an average of 3.5 days after symptoms develop before they get a COVID-19 test. Because there is substantial spread of COVID-19 in the community, the county recommends people who start feeling sick should assume it’s because of the novel coronavirus, get tested right away and isolate themselves from other people, including their families.
People with COVID-19 can have no symptoms, mild symptoms or severe illness. Common symptoms include:
- Fever or chills
- Difficulty breathing
- New loss of taste or smell
- Body aches
- Runny nose
- Sore throat
Symptoms may appear two to 14 days after exposure to the virus. Close contacts of people who test positive for COVID-19 should quarantine themselves for 14 days and monitor for symptoms. The county operates about 40 COVID-19 testing sites and most do not require an appointment. To find a no-appointment site near you, or to make an appointment, visit www.211sandiego.org or call 2-1-1. You can view the testing sites by day here. Personal health care providers also offer testing.
Flu season Health officials are also stressing the importance of getting the flu vaccination as soon as possible. Not only will this cut down on demands on the local health care system later, it will help rule out certain strains of flu for those who have symptoms that are common to influenza and COVID-19. Most health care providers are offering walk in clinics, and many local pharmacies offer the shot for a small fee. So, please add getting a flu shot to your list of errands over the next few days.
More Cares Act funding On Tuesday, the County Board of Supervisors voted to distribute additional federal funding to help those most affected by the pandemic. Here’s how the dollars will be allocated:
· $7 million for more economic stimulus grants to small businesses
· $5 million rental assistance for behavioral health
· $3.8 million for testing, tracing and treatment
· $3 million to expand the county’s emergency rental assistance program
· $2 million for local food banks
· $1.6 million for youth & child welfare services
· $1.6 million for the Great Plates program, which delivers meals to seniors in need
Outbreaks There have been 47 outbreaks countywide in the past seven days reported (Oct. 7-13). Community outbreaks continue to be a concern and demonstrate the real risks associated with activities where people are in close proximity, especially indoors. If an outbreak setting is deemed a public health threat, then the county will make the specific location public. I still think the best advice I’ve heard is to assume everyone you see could be contagious and act accordingly. Keeping a minimum 6 foot distance, covering your face and washing your hands regularly have proven to be very effective in reducing spread.
Learning more about COVID Researchers continue to study the effects of COVID-19 and publish new studies on a regular basis. One posted last week on the Harvard Medical School website got some media attention. It looked at the lasting cognitive effects of COVID-19. Some patients are reporting a level of impairment comparable to a moderate brain injury, affecting the ability to manage finances, make decisions and, in some cases, carry on conversations. More work is being done to identify the cause. For example, it could be due to oxygen deprivation or small strokes, according to the study. Another study also published last week – this one from ULCA – focused on PTSD as a potential cause, meaning the cognitive impairment could have psychological causes rather than physical.
The other COVID-19 study that got attention in recent days was the confirmation of the first U.S. COVID-19 patient who was infected a second time. An article in the Lancet reported on a 25-year-old Nevada man who tested positive in April and a second time in June, with the second time being more severe. This is the first confirmed case in the U.S., but the fifth worldwide.
For me, this just reinforces the fact that COVID-19 is still a very new disease and the importance of doing everything we can to slow the spread and avoid infection.
P.S. In case you were wondering, I don’t actually sit around reading medical journals in my spare time. But, when I come across something I think would be of interest, I like to go back to the source materials before sharing.
Case numbersSince my update Tuesday, 6 more cases have been reported in Carlsbad for a total of 769. We estimate that 46 of those cases are currently active. Overall, Carlsbad is doing a very good job of slowing the spread. Below is the latest graph comparing cases per capita. This is a direct result of your efforts and shows how much our community cares about protecting others. Let’s keep it up!
There have been 581 new cases reported countywide since my update Tuesday, and total cases now top 51,327.
- San Diego’s state-calculated, adjusted case rate is 6.8 per 100,000 residents. The trigger is 7 or more.
- The testing positivity percentage is 3.0%. The trigger is 8% or higher.
We remain in the red tier. Here’s the latest status of counties throughout the state:
Voting resources Traffic has been brisk at the official ballot drop off locations at all three city libraries this week. Here is a link to information about ballot drop off locations, poll locations, key dates and other resources.
Great Shake Out Today was the Great Shake Out, an annual event to highlight the importance of earthquake preparedness. If you’ve lived in California a long time, you’ve likely seen the guidance change over the years. Here’s the latest: If you feel an earthquake, immediately protect yourself as best as possible where you are. Earthquakes occur without any warning and may be so violent that you cannot run or crawl; you therefore will most likely be knocked to the ground where you happen to be. You will never know if the initial jolt will turn out to be the start of the big one. That’s why the guidance is to “Drop, Cover and Hold On.” You can read more about how to protect yourself and your loved ones here.
The County of San Diego issued a challenge to cities to demonstrate the proper “drop, cover and hold” position. I don’t want to brag, but I think our submission from Carlsbad’s City Hall below is an excellent demonstration.
That’s it until next week. Please be safe, be well and continue to #Care4Carlsbad.
Scott Chadwick City Manager
City of Carlsbad | 1200 Carlsbad Village Drive, Carlsbad, CA 92008