CARLSBAD, CA -COVID-19 case numbers continue to improve across the board here in San Diego County. Our testing positivity is now well within the red tier threshold. Cases per 100,000 in population are still three times the red tier threshold, but when you consider this number was 10 times higher just over a week ago, even that feels like good news. If we can keep this trend going, we can soon start planning in earnest for the next phase of reopening, which would be welcome news for everyone, especially parents of young children and our local businesses. Case number details
Looking at Carlsbad’s cases compared to other cities, per capita, we are still among the lowest. Not only that, but when other cities have peaked, our numbers went up too, but not quite as much. I can’t thank you enough for everything you are doing to slow the spread of COVID-19 in our community.
Vaccine update The good news is that vaccine distribution capacity continues to expand, both with county-run sites and private health care providers and pharmacies. Unfortunately, after a delayed shipment of the Moderna vaccine last week, the county reported yesterday that the extreme weather in other parts of the country are causing additional delays. The county’s public health officer said yesterday that she expects supplies to pick back up by next week. She also pointed out that the FDA is scheduled to review the Johnson & Johnson vaccine next week, on Feb. 26. If approved for emergency use, that would bring a third vaccine to market.
Eligibility Questions continue to come in about who is eligible for vaccines. One nuance that some don’t know about is related to caregivers. The state and county have stated that both formal and informal caregivers are eligible to get the vaccine as part of Phase 1A. This could include family members. Caregivers need to show a letter from the doctor of the person receiving care, and that letter needs to confirm their role as an “informal caregiver.” Here is a link to a notice from the county that explains this eligibility and here is a full list of people who fall under Phase 1A.
More vaccine background At last week’s COVID-19 update to the City Council, our fire chief did a great presentation that explains the vaccine process, from how vaccinators get certified to give vaccines to how the prioritization works. I asked him to share this information in a video so people could get a better understanding of the process. Please take a look.
Local health order and pickleball Once we were allowed to reopen our popular pickleball courts at Poinsettia Park, players were understandably thrilled to return. Under the current health order, only singles play is allowed. We updated signs around the courts and had our park monitors on hand to remind players to follow that rule. Unfortunately, too many players continued to play doubles, even after we later posted a warning that the courts would be closed if the health order was not followed. So, unfortunately, now the courts have been temporarily closed for everyone. Please know that no one at the city wants to restrict the public’s access to our beautiful parks and amenities. But, as I have explained before, we have the ability to be stricter than state and county rules, but we cannot be less strict.
Popular art program goes virtual Family Open Studios is one of the city’s most popular art events, and staff from our Cultural Arts Office has found a way to continue the experience virtually. These hands-on art-making events are, as the name implies, tailored for kids and adults alike and feature themes from exhibits on display at the city’s William D. Cannon Art Gallery. The next event, this Saturday, Feb. 20, will showcase the artwork of San Diego artist, Anne Mudge, whose work is also being displayed in the Cannon Art Gallery’s current exhibit, Four Visions: A Celebration of the Year of the Woman. Participants will have the opportunity to watch a live interview with the artist, learn about the history of wire art, view artwork from other wire artists, engage in live arts instruction for the art kit project, get tips for creating a wire sculpture and ask questions. Here is a link for more information, including how to sign up.
Carlsbad teen recognized Carlsbad High School senior Skyla Nelson was just chosen to represent California in the Distinguished Young Women’s program and will compete at the national level in June. I know I may be biased, but I can’t help but notice that teens here in Carlsbad are pretty darn amazing. You can see what I mean by watching this news interview with Skyla.
A new addition Finally, I would like to extend my warmest wishes and congratulations to City Council Member Priya Bhat-Patel. This week Dr. Bhat-Patel and her husband welcomed their first child, a beautiful baby boy.
I’ll be back next Tuesday with more updates. You may have noticed we relaunched our regular weekly e-newsletter. That comes out on Fridays and features stories about things going on at the city beyond just COVID-19 related news. If you know anyone who would like to sign up, please pass along this link.
I know it can sometimes feel like two steps forward, one step back, but we really are making progress toward a return to some kind of normalcy. With another new vaccine on the way and the expanded infrastructure in place to administer vaccines, the light at the end of this tunnel is getting brighter every day. Thank you for hanging in there, and thank you for continuing to #Care4Carlsbad.
Scott Chadwick, City Manager