COVID update, use of city masks, stress relief examples

Good afternoon Team Carlsbad,

Thank you to everyone who sent well wishes for my recovery from COVID-19. At any given hour I felt like I experienced the spinning wheel of symptoms. The most important things I could do were to take some time off to rest and take this seriously following all public health guidelines after a positive diagnosis.

I prioritized my rest to make sure I got plenty of sleep and stayed hydrated. I’m grateful to report that I’m doing so much better because I know that’s not the case for everyone. COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths across the county continue to set record numbers after the holidays.

COVID-19 cases

Since my last update we have had 10 new positive cases of COVID-19, six of them being workplace exposures. A workplace exposure happens when someone with a confirmed case of COVID-19 has been in a city building while contagious. If this happens in a building where you work, you’ll get a notification via email. If you have been in close contact with the person, you will be contacted directly.

While I voluntarily shared my diagnosis, the city does not share any health information that would violate strict health care privacy laws. We remain committed to maintaining a safe environment for employees while protecting employee privacy.

Please continue to monitor for symptoms, especially since we are within the two-week mark of the new year holiday. If you think you may have been exposed to COVID-19, either in or outside of the workplace (including family or your personal circles), do not return to work, even if you are not experiencing any symptoms. Contact your supervisor and HR immediately to discuss options.

City masks

I hope by now you have all received your custom city masks or have gotten a follow up message about your package delivery. (A handful of packages didn’t get delivered over the holidays. If you have not been contacted yet, please reach out to HR at

Our goal in sending you these masks, in addition to offering a little holiday cheer, was to make sure all city employees had a couple of reusable masks on hand for when you are working in a city facility or in the field. In addition to being a more environmentally friendly choice than disposable masks, these masks clearly identify you as a city employee. Our community really looks to us for guidance, and this is just one way we can show leadership in following health guidelines.

Likewise, please keep in mind that when you are wearing your city mask, you are representing Carlsbad and may likely be under the public eye. This just comes with the territory of being a public servant, and I know you are used to this by now.

Use of these specific city masks are encouraged when performing your duties but not required.

If you’re not sure about the city’s mask policy, here is a link. This policy outlines the minimum requirements for mask wearing. More is always better.

Finally, if you get a chance, please send a selfie in your new city mask to for a fun collage!

Employee stress relief

Mental, emotional and physical wellness during this time is especially important and I’ve enjoyed seeing the pictures you’ve submitted about specific ways you relieve stress. Here are just a few examples submitted.

Some of our friends in Library & Cultural Arts stay healthy and keep stress at bay by exploring North County’s trails (who knows if you’ll find a swing along the way!) and going for a swim in our vast body of salt water. These are great examples of how some of our team members are releasing their feel-good endorphins out in nature.

With that, as a reminder, our employee newsletter is returning! One of the themes from last fall’s employee survey was a desire to stay connected and in the know, so if you have other stress relief photos, story ideas or would like to get involved in the newsletter, email

Upcoming cybersecurity training

Please be on the lookout for an email invitation from about a mandatory cybersecurity training session.

Cybersecurity is everyone’s responsibility and is a first line defense against cyberthreats and other online attacks.

Learn more about what to expect from the training here.

Caring for Carlsbad through community connection

Right before the holidays I mentioned that we’ve been highlighting Carlsbad residents and the ways they’ve found inspiration during COVID-19. We’re always interested in hearing more stories about how people are finding meaningful ways to stay inspired during the pandemic. Do you have a neighbor or friend who lives in Carlsbad and has a story to share? If they are game, please have them get in touch with us via email at

Read up on the types of stories our community members are sharing here.

Even though 2020 is technically behind us now, things don’t automatically change at the stroke of midnight. It’s by your tremendous and intentional efforts each and every day that we are making a difference, serving and protecting our community and each other.

Thank you, Team Carlsbad. I appreciate all your hard work and we have much to look forward to this year!

I’ll be back next week with another update. Next Monday, 1/18, city offices are closed in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. In the meantime, have a safe week.

Miss my last update? Read it here.