Carlsbad, CA– Carlsbad has 33 more COVID-19 cases since my last update, bringing the total cases in Carlsbad to 160. We estimate 68 are currently active. That might not seem like a lot in a city of over 100,000 people, but it’s a big change from just a few weeks ago.
The county yesterday reported the single highest day of new COVID-19 cases at 498, which is 7% of those tested. Again, this is an increase – it had been hovering around 2-3%. The rolling 14-day average of positive cases compared to the total number of tests is now 4.1%. Here is a link to all the charts and graphs from yesterday’s news conference. I think the graph below pretty much sums up the situation we’re in:
Bars, wineries and breweries to close again At midnight tonight all local bars, wineries and breweries that do not serve food must close again and stay closed until further notice. For those that do serve food, you must sit at a table (no standing) and may only order alcohol with food.
The county is making this change because of the increasing number of outbreaks in the region and an increase in hospitalizations. Many of the outbreaks have been linked to bars and restaurants.
Also at yesterday’s news conference the county announced it will hold off on any new openings through July.
Cases trending younger A growing number of cases are being identified in young people, especially those between the ages of 20 and 29. At the end of April, 15% of all cases reported were in people in that age range. Now, that percentage has increased to 22%. In addition to bars and restaurants, outbreaks have been traced back to in-home gatherings like family parties and backyard barbecues. To date, according to the county, the recent protests do not seem to have caused an increase in cases.
Some of you have asked, and the county was asked yesterday, why protests were allowed to proceed when other outdoor gatherings were not. The state has exempted protests from the no gathering rule because freedom of expression is a constitutionally protected right.
County triggers The county has once again met its trigger of seven community outbreaks in the past seven days. The increase in hospitalizations has fallen below the trigger level, which is good news.
What’s next? The county identified three critical triggers – outbreaks, hospitalizations and the supply of personal protective equipment. A reporter yesterday asked the county health officer why restrictions were not put back in place the first time one of these triggers was met. She explained that the county initially followed up with individual outbreak sources, like restaurants, for enforcement as needed. With the coming holiday weekend, trends in cases and closures in surrounding counties, the county decided it now needs to close all bars, breweries and wineries. These establishments tend to draw a younger crowd, and people tend to need to yell or stand near each other to talk, both of which increase the opportunity for spread.
Visitors to San Diego Another issue that has come up is whether tourists from Arizona are the reason for the sudden increase in cases. The county does track where people with COVID-19 live, and so far, only 16 people total have been traced to Arizona, but seven of those were in the last week.
Help us help you The city is working with the Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce and the Carlsbad Village Association to promote greater adherence to the health precautions needed to slow the spread of COVID-19 in Carlsbad. I’ve mentioned a city loan program and other components of a $5 million economic revitalization package approved by the City Council to help businesses affected by COVID-19.
This will all be for naught, however, if people don’t do their part to help our local businesses stay open. Can you imagine being a bar owner and after taking all the steps needed to reopen safely, after three months of closure, only to close again? It’s heartbreaking for our local businesses. You can help not just by patronizing our local businesses as much as you can, but also by taking the needed precautions:
DO NOT gather with friends yet. It’s too soon. You can eat together in a restaurant under very strict conditionsDon’t let your teens get together with friends; don’t arrange play dates for your kids. City camps are open if you’re looking for kids’ activities. Again, we are enforcing very strict health precautionsDon’t just bring your face covering with you when you leave home, have it visible, around your neck, so people start to see that this is expectedWhen in doubt, put it on, and always wear it when you enter a business, take public transportation and any other time when you might come within 6 feet of someone not from your householdWash your hands often (and bring sanitizer with you); don’t touch your faceBecome familiar with the symptoms of COVID-19 (this list is getting longer as health experts learn more)
Positive cases at the city The city has taken extensive precautions since the very early days of COVID-19, switching to teleworking practically overnight, putting in place health screenings for those who still needed to report to a city facility, retrofitting workspaces, providing washable face coverings and providing training on all the new protocols. I am proud to say that thanks to these efforts, we did not have a single case, including our first responders, for 98 days.
But, now we have. Two, in fact. The first case was the week before last – someone who works at our Faraday Administration Center. Last Saturday we had our second case, an employee at Alga Norte Aquatic Center. Fortunately, that employee had not been at work since June 19, which is before the facility reopened to the public.
All along the city has committed to sharing as much information as possible with the public about COVID-19, which is why I wanted you to know about these cases, even though neither involved public contact. Both employees are resting at home, and we wish them a speedy recovery.
Unfortunately, I expect we will see more employee cases, given the level of community spread that is now occurring. Please know that we will continue to take all recommended precautions (and then some) to limit spread among our staff. If a staff member who had public contact tests positive, we will notify those potentially exposed. I hope this never happens, but we have a plan in place in case it does.
Contact tracing With more cases, the county’s trained contact tracers are actively working to limit potential outbreaks. You could be contacted if you are identified as someone who came into close contact with a person testing positive for COVID-19. Here’s what to expect:
Let’s do this! As we have seen in the past three months, we CAN slow the spread of COVID-19. If we each do our part, case numbers will once again go down, lives will be saved and more businesses will survive.
With the holiday weekend coming up, please take this to heart. I know it’s hard. We want to see our friends again. We miss our extended families. But the stakes are high, and we need to stick close to home and follow all the recommended health precautions.Given the uptick in COVID-19 activity, the county is having news conferences today and tomorrow at 2:30 p.m. You can watch live or watch after the fact on the county’s social media channels. Significant developments will be reported on the county’s news page. Our channels will also be updated regularly, and the main county and state pages remain reliable sources of information.
City’s COVID-19 webpageCity social mediaCounty of San Diego COVID-19 pageState COVID-19 page You are also welcome to reach out at any time with questions or concerns. Email [email protected] or post a comment on social media.
Scott Chadwick City Manager
City of Carlsbad | 1200 Carlsbad Village Drive, Carlsbad, CA 92008