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Questions about COVID-19 in Carlsbad

Last updated 4/14/21, 12:19 p.m.

The following are answers to frequently asked questions about the COVID-19 public health emergency.

San Diego County frequently asked questions
State of California frequently asked questions
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention frequently asked questions

Carlsbad-specific questions are answered below. If you have a question not covered here, please email us at communications@carlsbadca.gov.

What is open in Carlsbad?
The list of what is currently open with modifications and what is closed is changing often. The latest information can be found here. The governor has said that the state will allow all businesses to reopen on June 15, based on heath data remaining stable.

What city services are available?
Find out how to access city services and the status of what's open at the city.

Who is making decisions? 
Here’s a quick overview of how public health decisions are made:

  • Cities take their lead from counties because counties have responsibility for public health.
  • Counties are technically branches of the state government, so they take their lead from the state.
  • The federal government has put out “guidance” for reopening, but made it clear that states will make the ultimate decisions.
  • Most cities in San Diego County, like the City of Carlsbad, have a council-manager form of government, where policy decisions require a majority vote of the City Council. The Carlsbad municipal code designates the City Manager as the director of emergency services. This means that the City Manager has the authority to take immediate steps to protect health and safety, and then the City Council subsequently votes on those actions.

What does this mean for Carlsbad?

  • We must follow all federal, state and county health orders and other laws.
  • We are not experts in public health; that is the role of the county.
  • Where discretion exists on policies, the Carlsbad City Council will make those decisions or ratify emergency decision that may be taken by the City Manager.

If you want to know more, you can review the California Government Code and the Carlsbad Municipal Code.

What case information is available specific to Carlsbad?
The county prepares a weekly dashboard with information about cases in specific cities. The county also provides daily updates on cases by ZIP code.

The county created a “North Coastal” dashboard with COVID-19 rate by sex, ethnicity and age, hospitalizations, ICU admissions and deaths. Here’ is a link to all the updated charts and graphs from San Diego County.

What's the status of COVID-19 vaccines?
Vaccines are being administered as quickly as possible Learn more about the distribution plan and phases on the vaccine update page 

What is “equity adjustment” in the tier system?
The state applies an “equity adjustment” formula to county case numbers based on how the number of tests conducted compare to the state median number of tests. This way, counties with higher case numbers aren’t penalized if they also have a higher amount of testing. Likewise, counties without as much testing may have lower case numbers, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the prevalence of COVID-19 is lower. 

What does a “community outbreak” mean?
A community setting outbreak is when three or more people are confirmed for COVID-19 at one location who are from different households. Community outbreaks are one of the 13 triggers the county is closely monitoring to determine whether additional measures are necessary to prevent the spread of the virus.

What laws say the city must enforce the county public health order?

Information on the City’s obligation to assist in ensuring compliance with the county’s public health order may be found in:

Information on the inability of the City Attorney’s Office to advise a violation of the law, or assist in a violation of the law, may be found in: 

How is the city enforcing the health orders?
Enforcement in Carlsbad is the responsibility of the Police Department. The Police Department is taking an education first approach, meaning people will be first informed about the rules and given an opportunity to comply. If needed, police can issue citations for non-compliance. The city also has monitors at parks and beaches to help inform people about the rules and is distributing free face coverings at these public locations to increase compliance.

What should I do if I see someone not complying?
Take care of your own health and safety first. If you observe someone not complying, keep in mind the following:

  • People with illnesses and mental health conditions that prevent them from wearing facial coverings are exempt
  • People who live together do not need to stay 6-feet apart

It’s not always possible to discern these things. However, if you have a significant concern, you can call 760-931-2197 and the Police Department will assess the situation and take the appropriate actions. 

The county has said that community members can call the county's complaint line at 858-694-2900 to report violations of the public health order. Individuals can also email safereopeningcomplianceteam@sdcounty.ca.gov.

How do I get timely information about COVID-19 in the City of Carlsbad?
The city provides a COVID-19 email update twice a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays. You can sign up for the City Enews/City Manager Updates regarding COVID-19 email list here. You can also follow us on social media and visit the city's special COVID-19 webpage for the latest information.


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