COVID precautions and City Council meeting

As you saw in this morning’s email from HR, we recently had another workplace exposure to COVID-19. As things have reopened and normal activities resumed, COVID-19 cases nationwide are going up. This is not necessarily unexpected, but it is a good reminder that although health restrictions have eased, and vaccines are widely available, COVID-19 has not gone away.

According to the CDC, if you are fully vaccinated and have been around someone who has COVID-19, in most cases you do not need to quarantine or stay away from others or even get tested unless you have symptoms. More information is available on the CDC’s website, including guidance for those who have not been fully vaccinated. If you have any concerns at all, please contact your health care provider. If you don’t have a health care provider, you can call 2-1-1 for assistance.

As always, your safety and peace of mind are top priorities. The city is following, and in some cases exceeding, current health recommendations and workplace rules. We also need employees to do their part to reduce spread. Health guidance and workplace rules have changed over time, so please take a moment to review what is in place now so you are familiar with the latest.

City of Carlsbad COVID-19 Prevention Plan: all employees are required to read this plan and verify they have read it.

Cal/OSHA workplace rules: Cal/OSHA recently updated its rules for COVID-19. Our COVID-19 prevention plan is based on these rules.

I’d like to highlight a few areas in particular:

Self-screening

All employees must screen themselves prior to starting work at a city facility. You may do this at home or use one of the touchless thermometers at city facilities. Many symptoms of COVID-19 are the same or similar to other illnesses. If you have any of the symptoms below, immediately report that information to your supervisor and do not come to work:

  • Fever or chills

  • Cough

  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

  • Fatigue

  • Muscle or body aches

  • Headache

  • New loss of taste or smell

  • Sore throat

  • Congestion or runny nose

  • Nausea or vomiting

  • Diarrhea

When to wear a mask

  • Masks are optional for those fully vaccinated who have completed their vaccine verification form and submitted it to their supervisors.

  • If you are not vaccinated or have not yet submitted your form to your supervisor, you must wear a mask except when alone in a room or car.

  • Cubicles and other types of workstations are not considered rooms unless you can consistently maintain 6 feet of space around the area or have barriers blocking the breath of someone walking by or working nearby.

  • The city’s mask requirements apply to volunteers and contractors at city facilities.

Mask availability

  • If you do not have a mask, your department will supply one.

  • Single-layer fabric face coverings such as bandanas and gaiters do not meet the minimum criteria for a mask.

  • If you would like to use a respirator type mask (officially known as an N95 mask), the city will provide one to you and go over proper fit and usage.

Remember the basics

You can further reduce spread by the following:

  • Wash your hands frequently using soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If you cannot wash your hands, use hand sanitizer, but be aware, hand sanitizer is not effective if your hands are soiled.

  • Hold meetings virtually when possible. Avoid crowded indoor spaces.

  • Wear a mask if you want to, even if it’s not required.

  • Refrain from greetings such as handshakes, hugs and other gestures involving close contact with another person.

That was longer than I planned, but given the increasing case rates in San Diego County, I want to make sure we are all working together to keep Team Carlsbad and our community safe.

City Council update

At tonight’s meeting, the City Council will discuss options for filling the District 1 vacancy. Under our municipal code, they can appoint someone or hold an election to fill the remainder of the term, which expires in November 2022. If they appoint someone, that person could not run for the seat for at least a year after the term expires. I’ll share the outcome of those discussions in tomorrow’s City Manager’s Update.

That’s it for today. You can get more updates throughout the week, starting with tomorrow’s City Manager’s Update and on Friday through our This Week in Carlsbad newsletter.

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