Labor Day updates, cybersecurity tips and more

We had a busy Labor Day weekend here in the City of Carlsbad, with a big push to avoid the post-holiday spikes in COVID-19 cases that have occurred after Memorial Day and July Fourth. This included increased patrols along the beach and in other high traffic areas, fire prevention staff making visits to businesses to make sure they were aware of new occupancy restrictions, closing the Ocean Street parking lot, and increased pressure washing and trash removal. In all, every single city department played some role, including members of the city’s leadership team who helped staff a booth along the sea wall to hand out free masks.

As part of our Labor Day efforts, we launched a new public awareness campaign targeting those 20 to 29 years old, who make up the largest single group of COVID-19 cases in the county. You can see the two spots we’ve created so far:

Masks for Everyone 30 second version

Masks for Everyone 15 second version

Recognize any of our models? We are proud to feature not just city employees but also members of their families. Scroll to the end of this email for the big reveal.

These ads and more will run for the next several weeks on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube.

No new employee cases

I am happy to report that we have had no new COVID-19 cases among employees since my last update. As a reminder, if you have COVID-19 symptoms or otherwise think you may have COVID-19, please contact HR and your supervisor. Your health and the health of all city employees is our top priority.

We have had seven confirmed cases to date among city employees and no outbreaks (defined by the county as three or more cases linked back to a single location). You can help keep employee cases low by continuing to telecommute if possible.

Health screenings required at all city facilities

If you must come to a city facility, you must do the mandatory health screening at the door, including taking your temperature. It might seem inconvenient, but it’s critical to the health and safety of all our employees and it’s required by public health orders. This applies to all city employees in all departments who are not telecommuting. Here’s a reminder of the health screening procedure. Also be sure you are up to speed on our mask wearing policy. While at work, please remember to:

  • Maintain a minimum 6-foot physical distance from anyone outside your household

  • Cover your face in any public space (city employees should err on the side of caution and wear your face covering at all times in public to set an example)

  • When indoors, wear your face covering anytime a minimum 6-foot distance cannot be maintained or in locations where you could run into others

  • Wash your hands often and thoroughly

  • Wipe down common areas around your workspace often

  • Do not gather with others in break rooms, lunchrooms, etc.

  • Do not bring in food to share like pizzas and bagels. We don’t want people touching the same utensils and food containers

Would you leave your front door open?

Do your grandparents talk about the good ol’ days when they could leave their front doors unlocked with no fear of crime? Well, these days I don’t know anyone who thinks it’s okay to leave your front door open, even here in Carlsbad.

For a more modern take, you can think of your computer as a front door. Our IT department has installed locks and security systems for the city’s network and data, but they won’t do much good if an employee leaves the door wide open.

The city recently had a cybersecurity expert assess all our systems to make sure we’re doing everything we can to prevent a cyberattack. But he emphasized that even with the very best systems, an organization’s biggest vulnerabilities tend to be at the individual user level. That’s because cybercriminals have become very good at sending fake emails that look very real, cracking weak passwords and getting employees to open links that end up breaching our system.

So, following the home security metaphor, not only is your computer a front door, your mobile phone is an open window, your thumb drive the side door to the garage, and so on. There are many, many ways into our system via your everyday devices and online activities.

Keep in mind, the city, like most organizations of a certain size, fends off thousands of attempted breaches every single day. We just need to remain vigilant and make sure we are staying on top of all the best practices rolled out by IT.

I encourage you to watch this video on cybersecurity tips and proceed with extreme caution. We continue to push out our own phishing and spoof emails to employees. If you fall for one, you’ll need to retake our security training.

Thank you!

Carlsbad’s COVID Crooner

Not sure if you saw this news segment from Monday evening, so I had to share. It’s really too hard to explain. I suggest you just watch and appreciate the unique talent that exists here in our fair city.

Folks, as of this coming weekend, we are six months into the COVID pandemic. Our lives and our work have been turned upside down for half the year! I want you to know that even though we have been at this for a while, I remain as impressed as I was on day one with the job you are doing. I participate on a pretty regular basis in conference calls with other government officials throughout the region and beyond. A consistent theme is the absolutely stellar job Carlsbad is doing responding to this public health emergency. We are leading by example and truly living up to our mission as a city that sets the standard for effective and efficient local government service.

I couldn’t be more proud of this organization and each of you. Thank you for all of your efforts. Keep up the great work!

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