COVID-19 updates, reopening update, cybersecurity and appreciating city employees

Hello Team Carlsbad,

Since my last update, I’m happy to report that we have had no new employee cases of COVID-19 and no new workplace exposures.

One year ago tomorrow, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic. I am very proud of the relatively low number of workplace exposures we have seen over the past year – this is a direct result of your everyday actions to mask up, keep your distance from others not in your household, and frequently wash your hands and sanitize your surroundings.

Let’s keep it up, team!

New touchless thermometers at city facilities

Last week I introduced information about the new touchless thermometers and COVID screening process for all city facilities. Your safety and peace of mind are of the upmost importance so if you missed it, read the FAQ here.

If you have additional questions, Human Resources is available to talk about the recent change. Judy von Kalinowski: 760-473-4670

Darrin Schwabe: 760-271-5548

Reopening update

You may have read that we are getting closer to the red tier, where health restrictions will loosen.

The red tier’s changes are relatively modest when it comes to city operations. All departments are currently working on plans for what could change, if anything, as well as looking at changes that would come in the orange and yellow tiers. Your department directors will keep you informed of any preparations that are needed and when.

Under a separate but related effort, the COVID task force led by HR is working on plans to transition employees back into the workplace. This is not expected imminently, we just want to be prepared for when that day comes. With vaccines becoming more available and case numbers continuing to decrease, we are finally ready to start making longer term plans.

I will keep you updated on these plans as they develop.

Goal setting

Our third planned goal setting workshop with the City Council is tomorrow, March 11, at 9 a.m.

So far, Council has identified three categories, taken from the Carlsbad community values, where they would like to focus their goals:

  • Small town feel, beach community character and connectedness; neighborhood revitalization, community design and livability

  • The local economic, business diversity and tourism

  • Sustainability; Open space and the natural environment

We are all looking forward to hearing the City Council’s direction on goals so we can begin to incorporate them into our plans and budgets.

Cybersecurity attacks are becoming more and more sophisticated

Last week, at least 30,000 organizations across the United States, including small businesses, towns, cities and local governments, were the victims of a cybersecurity attack focused on stealing emails from Microsoft Exchange.

Thankfully, the City of Carlsbad was not one of the thousands of organizations targeted, but the reality is that we could be next. Considering the sophistication of hackers in recent cybersecurity attacks, we all need to be highly vigilant in our communication and online activities:

  • Stay on a private, secured Wi-Fi network. Avoid using public Wi-Fi and do not use public computers for work.

  • Do not visit websites or follow links provided by unknown sources.

  • Think before clicking hypertext links contained in emails or attachments, especially from sources you do not trust.

  • Report all suspicious emails by using the “Report Email” icon on your Outlook toolbar. Err on the side of over-reporting!

Cybersecurity is everyone’s responsibility. I hope you’ve completed your cybersecurity training by now. If not, your 90-day deadline is quickly approaching.

Employee Appreciation Day, in the times of COVID

They say hard times don’t make a person’s character, they reveal a person’s character. This has never been clearer than during this past year. Thank you for everything you do for our community and for each other. I could not be more proud of you or more grateful.

If you missed it last Friday, please watch this video to see members of the city’s Leadership Team describing you, Team Carlsbad.

And watch this video highlighting how city staff have kept the city running smoothly during this challenging year. Thank you!

Miss my last update? Read it here.