Employee survey results, a safe Thanksgiving, staff kudos

Team Carlsbad,


As of last week, San Diego is officially in the most restrictive “purple tier,” and our county will remain here for a minimum of three weeks, which brings us through the Thanksgiving holiday. Here’s a reminder of what the rules of the purple tier are compared to other tiers.


On a positive note, the county released a new map that shows case data by city and ZIP codes. Carlsbad has the lowest case rate of any city that has a population of 100,000 or more.


Notice of COVID-19 positive employee

Since my last update, one additional employee has tested positive for COVID-19, bringing our total to date to 15 cases.


As a reminder, if someone in your workplace tests positive for COVID-19, you will receive an email memo from the deputy city manager who oversees your department. If you are believed to have been in close contact with the person who tested positive, you will be contacted individually.


If you have been exposed to a confirmed positive person, either in or outside of the workplace (including family and 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 and determine when your appropriate return date will be.


We must keep our guards up. Countywide we are in “widespread” transmission status, but your individual actions to follow all public health guidelines go a long way to slow the spread.


Work remotely if you can. If you need to come to the office:

  • Utilize the self-screening stations

  • Cover your face according to our face covering policy

  • Maintain a 6-foot distance from others

  • Wipe down commonly used surfaces often

  • Wash your hands thoroughly and frequently

  • Don’t bring in food to share

Practice all other health precautions and health order provisions in your daily lives to avoid infection.

  • Avoid crowds

  • Stay home if you have any symptoms of COVID-19 or have been around someone who has


Celebrate Thanksgiving safely

The California Department of Public Health issued a travel advisory last Friday, which means they’re encouraging Californians to stay close to home and avoid non-essential travel to other states. I understand your Thanksgiving plans may very well be underway already, but the state is stressing that travel increases the chance of getting and spreading the virus. If you must travel, be informed of the risks involved.


Here are seven considerations for small gatherings during COVID-19 to make the holiday the safest as possible.


  • Keep it small to no more than three households.

  • Opt to gather outdoors, but if you have to meet indoors, keep windows open for air flow.

  • The shorter the gathering the better to avoid increased exposure.

  • Wear a mask at all times outside of eating and drinking.

  • Spread out and allow for 6 feet of physical distancing with others not in your immediate household.

  • Follow the local public health order in whatever county you’re in.

  • Take special care for those at risk.


Here are other tips to celebrate the holiday safer.


  • Have conversations with guests ahead of time to set expectations for celebrating together.

  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and items between use.

  • If sharing food, have one person serve food and use single-use options, like plastic utensils.


There’s no doubt that holiday celebrations will look different this year, but I encourage you to stay vigilant in the coming weeks as we all take action to do our part to slow the spread. Your actions help protect our loved ones around us. I protect you. You protect me.


Carlsbad’s commitment to sustainability

Nov. 15 was America Recycles Day, a day to highlight our commitment to sustainability and recycling.

Here are some of our fun recycling facts:

  • In 2019, the city recycled more than 19,600 tons of materials.

  • There are about 89 miles of recycled water pipelines that deliver recycled water to 955 points of connection throughout the city.

  • Between 2-6 million gallons of recycled water are supplied to customers each day.

It’s also an opportunity to recognize staff who oversee the Recycled Water Program and staff who oversee our recycling and trash programs within Environmental Management. It is dedicated staff like them who are helping make our community a cleaner, safer and more sustainable environment.



Carlsbad recognized as a top 10 “digital city”

For the first time since 2007, the city has been recognized as a top 10 digital city for its preparation to address COVID-19 through its digital infrastructure, cybersecurity and online citizen services.


Like most local governments and organizations, we were faced with leading an immediate transition to remote work amid the COVID-19 outbreak. Thanks to a dedicated team of leaders, we were already engaged in energetic modernization efforts that helped us successfully shift most of our workforce to work safely from home.


In addition, we’ve ramped up our digital awareness and cybersecurity education to ensure our organization stays protected against cyberthreats while we work from hundreds of different locations. We’ve also done a stellar job at shifting public engagement opportunities from in-person to online, making sure we remain connected and in good communication with our community. Kudos to the Office of Innovation & Economic Development, Information Technology, Communication & Engagement and every member of our team who has contributed to our safe online activity and engagement. We have a strong foundation to keep building upon!


Give the gift of Carlsbad for the holidays

Given the new purple tier restrictions, we are asking our community to do everything they can to support local businesses. Gift Carlsbad is a website where you can buy give cards to local businesses. Depending on the amount of the card, additional “bonus” funds will be added. This not only helps your dollars go further, it gives a much-needed boost to our local merchants.


And, although restaurants have to close indoor dining, most still have curbside takeout available. If you can, please consider eating in just as you might have eaten out, by picking up your meals and enjoying them at home.


Submit photos for Holiday Breakfast

This year’s Holiday Breakfast is going virtual on Dec. 10 with festive attire and Zoom backgrounds! The format will be different this year (BYO-Breakfast!), but the spirit of service we celebrate is stronger than ever.


Our photo slideshow will still be a part of this year’s program, and a great way to see our fellow teammates. Please send any pictures you would like to include in the slideshow to Leticia Reyes at Leticia.Reyes@carlsbadca.gov no later than Tuesday, Dec. 1.

A few notes about submitting pictures:

  • They can be of you or your co-workers at work or during personal time.

  • We want to see you having fun, but please be sure pictures are appropriate.

  • An employee must be in the picture.

  • You may submit more than one photo.


Employee survey results

Thank you to the 400+ team members who completed our employee survey. Team members from all branches participated, and I’m grateful for your honest feedback and ideas.


We recognize how hard it can be to stay connected as a team when work schedules and locations change. We’re glad to hear you are loving the professional development trainings and we want to create even more opportunities to find meaningful connections for yourself and with one another (health and fitness related was a top suggestion!)


We also had a couple of questions about COVID-related safety, like how our building ventilation system works. We’re currently working on a video explaining the recent upgrades. We’ll share it in a few weeks.


Again, thank you for your participation. The HR and Communication & Engagement teams are working on creative ways to implement your feedback and stay connected as a team while we continue to navigate COVID-19 and work remotely. You can see the survey results here.


Next week is a short week for the Thanksgiving holiday. May you all be safe as you celebrate and find time to recognize what we are thankful for in this challenging and constantly evolving season of life.


Happy Thanksgiving, Team Carlsbad! I am thankful for YOU!


Miss my last update? Read it here.


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