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Calendar >  Carlsbad City Manager

Carlsbad City Manager

By   /  May 5, 2021  /  No Comments


Vaccine eligibility and availability dominated the headlines yesterday, with both local and national news.

On the local front, San Diego County announced that starting this Thursday, three of its vaccination sites will start offering evening hours for people with and without appointments. The location closest to Carlsbad is:

Oceanside -Sun. to Thurs., 1 to 8 p.m.North Coastal Live Well Health Center 1701 Mission Ave.

This is a significant step forward because it provides greater flexibility for people who are not available during the day due to work or other commitments. These sites will offer the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines for first doses or second doses as a follow up to first doses received elsewhere, according to the county’s news release.

Vaccine approval for ages 12 to 15 expected soon On the national front, news organizations are reporting that the Pfizer vaccine could receive emergency authorization in the next week for those 12 to 15 years old. Nothing official has come out on this yet, including when exactly vaccines could start to be administered, other than before the start of the next school year.

Vaccines initially were only tested on adults, but Pfizer began testing in younger people first, and Moderna is now conducting similar tests.

Vaccines for 16-17 year olds Currently, Pfizer is the only vaccine approved for those 16 and 17 years old, so if you have a teen in this age group, be sure you go to a clinic offering the Pfizer vaccine.

There’s no doubt our young people have had a rough time during COVID. Now that more activities are resuming, it’s worth noting the CDC guidance for those fully vaccinated. Getting a vaccine not only protects against infection, it could reduce the chance of missing end of year high school festivities that may be planned.

COVID cases in children The American Academy of Pediatrics has released data showing that children make up more than a fifth of new COVID-19 cases in the United States, compared to just 3% this time last year. Researchers attribute this change to the fact that older people were the first to be vaccinated. Return to in-person school and new more contagious variants could also be factors. Although cases among older people tend to get the most attention because they have been the ones with the most severe symptoms, those 18 to 24 have had the highest case rates all along. The CDC keeps track of case demographics, and you can see the data on its website. Even though children generally have milder symptoms, and often no symptoms, preventing COVID-19 infections in young people is very important to the overall health of our community. Children can spread COVID-19 to others, and the more cases we have overall, the greater the chance of new variants emerging that could be harder to control or more serious – or both.

Vaccination progress The county released the following update yesterday:

The differences in percentages between the chart below and the data above have to do with whether the county is referring to progress toward its goal of vaccinating 75% of those eligible, or progress in vaccinating all who are eligible.

Vaccines by ZIP code I mentioned last week the relatively low percentage of vaccinations in the north coastal region of the county. This made me curious about Carlsbad’s rate. The county website has broken down vaccination rates by ZIP code now. Here’s how we compare:

Many factors drive these numbers, including the demographics of each ZIP code. For example, some ZIP codes might have a larger percentage of older residents who have been eligible longer. Income, race and ethnicity are also correlated to vaccine rates. This information isn’t broken down by ZIP code, but here is some additional data on age, race and ethnicity:.

Finally, the county has vaccine rates by census tract for the purpose of monitoring vaccine rates in areas with the highest risk from COVID-19 due to variables like income and access to care. Carlsbad does not have any areas that qualify as the most vulnerable in the “health equity index.”

Case numbersCarlsbad case numbers increased by 38 since my report last Thursday. We need to keep a close eye on this. Sometimes case numbers spike due to timing of when data are available. But you can see by the chart below, there hasn’t been a corresponding increase in county cases reported so far.

Again, daily anomalies in the data are common. But we should also remember that COVID-19 is still spreading in our community. Less than half the population is fully vaccinated, and new variants are much more contagious. Now is not the time to abandon health precautions. Yes, guidelines are easing, but masks are still recommended if you’re going to be in a crowd. Outdoor activities are recommended over indoor ones. It’s still a good idea to keep your distance from others when you are out in public.

Cases by ZIP code
Updated state guidanceYesterday the state updated its guidance related to face coverings and activities for people who are fully vaccinated. Both had been previously announced, but now the state’s guidance is official. You can see the details in the links, but some of the highlights include:

  • Fully vaccinated people can refrain from wearing face coverings outdoors except when attending crowded outdoor events, such as live performances, parades, fairs, festivals, sports events, or other similar settings.
  • Fully vaccinated people can refrain from quarantine and testing following a known exposure if asymptomatic.
  • Following a known exposure at work, fully vaccinated workers do not need to quarantine if asymptomatic.
  • Those fully vaccinated can spend time with other fully vaccinated people, including indoors, without wearing masks or physical distancing (outside a workplace setting).

 Concerns about delayed care More information is becoming available about the potential effects of delayed non COVID-related medical care due to the pandemic. This article from last December in the Journal of the American Medical Association reported on the prevalence of delayed care. The CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics has kept track all along and publishes data on its website. Even in the most recent weeks, when more people have become fully vaccinated, about a quarter of those surveyed said they were still delaying care.

A story in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal quoted a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation study that documented similar decreases in routine screenings and treatment. Health experts quoted in the article said they worry about diseases such as cancer being caught at later stages that are more difficult to treat. One estimated the U.S. could see 10,000 additional breast and colorectal cancer deaths alone due to the delayed screenings.

I share this not only because it’s a good reminder overall to keep up with routine health screenings, but because Carlsbad has a statistically higher population of older residents than other cities, it’s even more important here locally.
Gallery exhibitCity staff have been so excited to provide more in-person services to the public now the health restrictions are easing. One such group is in our Cultural Arts Office. They did a great job during the height of the pandemic bringing virtual arts experiences to our community. But, let’s face it, there’s nothing like experiencing art firsthand.

Our Cannon Art Gallery is now open with a new exhibit. Material Pulses: Seven Viewpoints, focuses on the art of quilt-making, presenting 17 works by seven fiber artists. It features contemporary textile arts with quilts, mixed media and installation work, all exploring color, pattern and size through traditional and experimental quilt-making applications. 
It runs through May 23. Current days and hours are Tuesdays and Thursdays, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., but we will be expanding those days and times, as well as other public services throughout the month of May.

We encourage gallery guests to make an online reservation, but we will accommodate walk-up visitors as space allows. Here is a video featuring our gallery curator talking about the exhibit.

City Council meetingsYes, that is plural – we have two City Council meetings this week. Our regular meeting is today starting at 3 p.m. Topics include:

  • Update on city investments
  • Amending agreement for the design of the Fire Station 4 addition project
  • Selling a city-owned property in Oceanside, the former site of a water storage facility
  • A proposed development with 192 apartments along Palomar Airport Road
  • A nine-unit condominium project proposed to be built on Roosevelt Street
  • Appeals on business tax assessments filed by Callaway and Taylor Made
  • Update on city’s COVID-19 response and its costs
  • The cost of financial assistance on water bills during the pandemic
  • Update on the cost and progress of the new Buena Vista Reservoir Park

Here’s a link to full agenda and staff reports.
The second meeting is Thursday and focuses on one of the City Council’s four priority goals: City Council communication and an ethics code to support the delivery of superior public service. Here are details on this meeting, which will be livestreamed on the city website and cable channel just like a regular meeting.

The governor announced this morning that everything is on track to fully reopen on June 15. Here are details on what is referred to as “Beyond the Blueprint.” Even though that is six weeks away, it will be here before you know it. Thank you, once again, for everything you have done to get us to this point. The actions of no one individual alone could have gotten us here. Instead, this has been the ultimate team effort. I often refer to our city staff as Team Carlsbad, but, really, our entire community is part of Team Carlsbad.

So, today, May 4, 2021, I will quote our little green friend: “Do or do not. There is no try.”
May the Fourth Be with You.
Scott Chadwick,City Manager


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