Joint Communication to Carlsbad Businesses Regarding COVID-19 #2
The City of Carlsbad, Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce and the Carlsbad Village Association are continuing to field calls and answer questions from the business community regarding the coronavirus. We want to help keep you informed so we will continue to send these updates as new information that is relevant to our local businesses becomes available.
Carlsbad City Council Declares a Local State of Emergency
On March 17, 2020 the Carlsbad City Council approved a declaration of local emergency as a result of the spread of COVID-19. This declaration authorized the City’s Director of Emergency Services to obtain local, county, state and federal aid to assist in addressing the city’s state of emergency. If you are a resident of Carlsbad check out our frequent updates at www.carlsbadca.gov.
California Governor Announces Stay Home Order
Last night, Governor Gavin Newsom issued Executive Order N-33-20 that requires all Californians to stay home except to get food, care for a relative or friend, get necessary health care, or go to work at an essential job. The order references the list of essential jobs as those listed by the federal Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA). There are 16 critical infrastructure sectors. You can find guidance on the essential critical infrastructure sectors and workforce here.
County Ratchets Up Restrictions
The County of San Diego has updated its emergency order with some new provisions.
- All public or private gatherings of 10 or more people are prohibited.
- Public or private schools, colleges and universities cannot hold classes or school activities where students gather on school campus.
- Daycare and childcare facilities may only operate with groups of 10 or fewer children so long as it is the same group of children each day.
- In addition to closing all bars, adult entertainment establishments, and other businesses that serve alcohol and do not serve food, now gyms and fitness centers must be shuttered.
There were questions regarding whether the order applied to breweries and wineries that do not serve food. Like restaurants, those establishments can continue selling their products if they have the proper license and it is taken off premises just like take-out food. For example, sealed containers like growlers, bottles and cans can be sold for consumption off-site if the establishment’s license allows for retail sales. Breweries and wineries that serve food are treated like restaurants which means food and beverage for takeout, curbside pick-up and delivery continue to be allowed.
Businesses that are regulated by the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) can find more information from the state here.
Guidance to Businesses on COVID-19
The US Office of Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has released guidance on preparing workplaces for COVID-19. To reduce the impact of COVID-19 on businesses, workers, customers and the public it is crucial that your company has a plan to address specific exposure risks, sources of exposure, and routes of transmission. You can find the OSHA guidance here.
For businesses that provide an essential service and still have customers circulating through their building like grocery stores and pharmacies it is vitally important to ensure 6’ social distancing. Employees who are sick should stay home. The National Grocers Association has provided member best practices here.
Please do your part by educating your employees about how to reduce the spread of COVID-19. You can find more advice for businesses from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention here.
Guidance for Food and Beverage Industry
You can find guidance from California Department of Public Health for retail food and beverage service locations here. The guidance also includes information for food trucks, certified farmers markets, grocery stores and charitable food distribution sites.
With proper precautions farmers markets can still operate. This includes precautions to reduce infectious transmission and social distancing. The San Diego County Department of Environmental Health (DEH) has provided clarification that the current order limiting gatherings to less than 10 people does not apply to farmers markets because they provide food which is an essential function. If you have questions, contact DEH’s Information Specialist at (858) 505-6900 or [email protected]. If the weather is good the State Street Farmers Market should be back up and running Wednesday, March 25th. Thank you to Christine Davis and the Carlsbad Village Association for their hard work getting things going again. If you do go to the farmers market please ensure 6’ social distancing. We must all do our part to limit the transmission of COVID-19. Updated 3/25
Disaster Loan Assistance
We know that our businesses and non-profits are in a tight spot. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has a Disaster Loan Assistance Program for situations like this. The SBA recently held a webinar and you can access the slides here. California business are eligible to seek assistance and the application can be filled out online. It is likely that there will be a high volume of applications so if you need assistance apply early.
Let Your Voice Be Heard
Many of our North County Chambers and the San Diego North Economic Development Council want to know what is going on with our local businesses. Thank you to Bret Schanzenbach at the Carlsbad Chamber for taking the lead on putting together a survey for our North County businesses. You can fill out the survey here.
The San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, the Small Business Development Center of San Diego and Imperial and the San Diego Regional Economic Development Council have sent out a survey to gauge the impact of COVID-19 on businesses in the region. Follow the link above to fill it out.
Getting it Done
Carlsbad companies are diving in to help with many aspects of the COVID-19 response. Thermo Fischer Scientific aims to produce 5 million tests a week by April. Viasat announced its commitment to participate in the Federal Communications Commission’s Keep Americans Connected Initiative. GenMark received emergency authorization from the Food and Drug Administration to use one of their tests in the war against the coronavirus.
There are many more stories of Carlsbad companies leaning in during this crisis and you can find them on our Life in Action website.
Together for Carlsbad
The City of Carlsbad, Chamber of Commerce, and Carlsbad Village Association are working together to support our businesses during these unprecedented times. If you want the most up to date information here are some links to keep handy:
We are a strong and resilient community and we know how to help each other out. With your help our community will resolutely get through this crisis the way we always do – together.
Please feel free to forward these communications to those in your network. To be added to the distribution list or if you have any questions please email [email protected].
The rapidly evolving situation around the coronavirus (COVID-19) is affecting all of us. We know that this is disrupting our business community. The City of Carlsbad, Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce and the Carlsbad Village Association are united in keeping our businesses informed during this difficult time.
Recent guidance from the federal, state and county public health officials are crucial to keeping our community safe and trying to reduce the spread of COVID-19. The City will continue to provide updates on our local efforts on our website www.carlsbadca.gov.
One important recent development is regarding public facilities. Effective Monday, March 16 at 5 p.m. all city libraries and effective Tuesday, March 17, at 7 a.m., all other city buildings are temporarily closed to the public. City employees will continue to work, maintaining a 6-foot distance between each other and following all other health guidelines. Among the facilities affected are:
- Senior Center (M-F meal service for those 60 and older will continue outside on a pickup basis and by delivery)
- Community centers, aquatic centers and all parks buildings except restrooms
- Faraday Administration Center
- City Hall
Today at 4:30pm the City Council will be convening to consider the declaration of a local emergency. More information on this Special City Council Meeting can be found here https://www.carlsbadca.gov/cityhall/clerk/meetings/default.asp.
Many city services can be accessed online or by phone. For more updates please go to https://www.carlsbadca.gov/services/depts/fire/emergency/coronavirus.asp
Yesterday, the County of San Diego issued an emergency order that went in effect at 12:00am today Tuesday, March 17th, 2020 and continuing until March 31, 2020. You can access the full order and other updates from the county at coronavirus-sd.com. Key provisions of the order include:
- All public or private gatherings of 50 or more people are prohibited and all non-essential gatherings of any size are strongly discouraged.
- All bars, adult entertainment establishments, and other business establishments that serve alcohol and do not serve food must close.
- All restaurants and other business establishments that serve food are required to close all on-site dining though food may be served by delivery or through pick-up or drive thru.
- All businesses are required to enact social distancing, increased sanitation standards, and make every effort to use telecommuting for its workforce.
- All businesses shall suspend any policy or procedure that requires doctor verification for sick or other leave approval.
- All public or private schools, colleges, and universities shall not hold classes or other school activities where students gather on the school campus.
- A strong recommendation is made to all persons who are 65 years or older, have chronic underlying condition, or have a compromised immune system self-quarantine themselves at home.
- Non-essential personnel are prohibited from entry into any hospital or long-term care facility.
- A strong recommendation is made for persons exhibiting mild to moderate systems of COVID-19 to self-isolate themselves in their place of residence unless seeking medical treatment.
It is important that we all do what we can to ensure compliance with public health orders to keep our community safe.
As we pull together during this uncertain time here are some resources that may be valuable.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued interim guidance for businesses and employers to help plan, prepare and respond to the coronavirus disease. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/guidance-business-response.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fcoronavirus%2F2019-ncov%2Fspecific-groups%2Fguidance-business-response.html
The governor of the State of California’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GoBiz) has put together a helpful site for employers and employees as it relates to COVID-19. https://business.ca.gov/coronavirus-2019/
For workers and employers, the state Employment Development Department has compiled important information on issues such as disability insurance claims, paid family leave, tax assistance, and workplace safety. https://www.edd.ca.gov/about_edd/coronavirus-2019.htm
The US Small Business Administration (SBA) has various resources you may want to check out including the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program and guidance for businesses and employers. https://www.sba.gov/page/guidance-businesses-employers-plan-respond-coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19
You are probably familiar with the Innovate78 initiative which is an economic development collaboration between the five cities along the 78 corridor and the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation. They recently stood up a website with information on the the coronavirus. https://www.innovate78.com/connect/blog/coronavirus-and-78-corridor
It is possible that your business may face a hardship and SDG&E is trying to do their part. The utility will waive late payment fees for businesses facing hardship. http://www.sdgenews.com/article/sdge-suspends-service-disconnections-nonpayment-part-its-coronavirus-response
The city and our business organization partners are committed to supporting our companies during this time. Carlsbad is a resilient community and we pull together in time of crisis. We appreciate all that you do for our community. Together we will see our way through this difficult time.