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City of Encinitas services to continue during the COVID-19 outbreak

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(Courtesy)

The following is from a news release issued by the City of Encinitas:

There are now eight presumptive positive COVID-19 cases in San Diego County, although the number in Encinitas remains at one. The following is an update on the measures the City of Encinitas has taken over the past 24 hours to help reduce the spread of the coronavirus while continuing to provide services to the community. The coronavirus pandemic is a rapidly evolving situation.

The closures and policies implemented are the result of the City following the ongoing national, state and local directives regarding coronavirus to help contain the spread of the virus. The City continues to monitor the coronavirus pandemic and will issue updates as more information becomes available or if there are any changes. This update includes known items effective through March 31, 2020.

March 18 City Council and San Dieguito Water District meetings

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The March 18 San Dieguito Water District meeting is canceled.

The March 18 City Council meeting is being held as planned. For those who attend in person, there will be “social distancing” seating with six feet of separation. The City will be opening extra meeting rooms to accommodate the need for additional space.

People are encouraged to take advantage of the live streaming option to view City Council meetings from home which you can access at the following link: https://encinitasca.gov/Government/Agendas-Webcasts.

People can also submit comments on any agenda item to the City Council via email at council@encinitasca.gov. The City is in the process of developing a new comment form which identifies the specific item, provides for an expression of support, opposition or neutral opinion, and provides a space to enter a comment about the item. The city anticipates the roll-out of the new form early next week in advance of the Council meeting, and it will be available on the City’s website. Comments received on this form before 3 p.m. on the Wednesday of the Council meeting will become a part of the record, and will be provided to Council for its consideration.

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For those who cannot attend the meetings in person or view it live, City Council and other City meetings are archived and can be accessed at https://encinitasca.gov/Government/Agendas-Webcasts.

Customer Self-Service Portal

In lieu of going to City Hall, Public Works, or the San Dieguito Water District, people may access City services remotely. The City’s Customer Self Service Portal allows people to apply for plans, permits, and licenses online. People can log into the portal at: https://portal.encinitasca.gov/CustomerSelfService#/home.

City Public Meeting and Facility Closures

Homeless Action Plan Meeting - The community meeting scheduled for Monday, March 16 at the Community Center is being postponed to a later date.

Encinitas Community and Senior Center: Effective March 14, 2020, the Encinitas Community and Senior Center will be closed and regular classes and activities will be suspended through March 31. Program participant fees will be refunded. Senior nutrition meals will still be offered on a pick-up or delivery basis based on the preference of the participant.

Fire Stations and Marine Safety Center: Tours and other public access to these facilities have been suspended.

Scheduled City Events:
The following Encinitas events originally scheduled for the month of March 2020 are canceled or rescheduled.

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The March 13 Music by the Sea Concert at the Encinitas Library has been canceled
The March 18 Wednesday @ Noon concert at the Encinitas Library has been canceled
The March 21 Surf Rider Moonlight Beach Clean Up has been canceled
The March 25 Wednesday @ Noon concert at the Encinitas Library has been canceled
The March 29 Encinitas Half Marathon has been rescheduled for March 2021
The Encinitas Street Fair has been moved from April 25-26 to May 16-17.
The Arts Alive Banner Unveiling scheduled for March 14 has been canceled.

Preventative Steps Taken by the City:

--The City has activated an internal coronavirus response team
--Implemented the City’s Continuity of Operations Plan as a part of its Business Continuity and Disaster Relief
--Enhanced daily cleaning and sanitizing of City facilities
--Coordinating with the County of San Diego to install hand washing stations in the City’s parks
--Instituted a social distancing and “no handshake” policy at all City facilities
--City employees have been instructed to remain home if sick for customer and employee safety
--Handwashing hygiene awareness education
--Making hand sanitizer available at facilities including new stand-up sanitizer dispensers at the entrance of City Hall and the Public Works Building

Community Updates and Closures: School Districts, Libraries and SDG&E

--All school districts in the City, have cancelled classes starting March 16th - please check their websites for more information.
--Mira Costa College has a scheduled spring break March 16-19, with a March 20 closure. From March 23-28 the campus will be open with no instruction and classes will resume on an online basis only on March 30 with the exception of some lab classes which may meet on campus.
--The Cardiff and Encinitas Libraries are open, but have canceled classes and special activities.
---SDG&E has suspended any utility disconnections for the time being.

Other Helpful Links
--Scripps Health has launched a nurse line dedicated to COVID-19:
https://www.scripps.org/news_items/6916-scripps-health-launches-nurse-line-dedicated-to-covid-19
COVID-19 Information Resources:

San Diego County Health and Human Services
https://www.sandiegocounty.gov/content/sdc/hhsa/programs/phs/community_epidemiology/dc/2019-nCoV.html
California Department of Public Health
https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/Immunization/ncov2019.aspx
Centers for Disease Control
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html
For information or questions please contact Tom Bokosky, Director of Human Resources at (760) 633-2631 or tbokosky@encinitasca.gov.

Updates released by the City of Encinitas March 14:

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Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
March 6 exposure at local health care facility
The City of Encinitas is aware that on Friday, March 6 at 4:15 p.m., a local health care office located at 477 El Camino Real had an exposure to a confirmed COVID-19 case. Within minutes, staff were in contact with San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) for guidance on the response. The office has been able to identify any staff or patients potentially exposed, and the County HHSA has been given the names of those individuals. More information about how San Diego County monitors potential COVID-19 cases can be found here: https://www.countynewscenter.com/how-san-diego-county-monitors-potential-covid-19-cases/.
As of March 13, San Diego County has 8 presumptive positive cases, 0 positive (confirmed cases), 38 patients under investigation pending results, and 99 patients who have tested negative. Source: https://www.sandiegocounty.gov/content/sdc/hhsa/programs/phs/community_epidemiology/dc/2019-nCoV/status.html

Not everyone needs to be tested for coronavirus: Testing options
San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency is currently following guidance from CDC and the California Department of Public Health (CDPH). People who are not sick do not need to be tested for Coronavirus. According to the County, here’s who should be tested:
--People returning from an impacted country who develop symptoms.
--People who have had contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19.
--People who are experiencing severe respiratory illness.

--COVID-19 symptoms can include fever, cough, and shortness of breath, and may appear 2-14 days after exposure. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/symptoms.html
For more information on testing: https://www.countynewscenter.com/3-more-covid-19-cases-reported-in-san-diego-county-healthy-people-dont-need-to-be-tested/

In order to reduce the spread of illness at health care facilities, they are asking that patients to not come in for COVID-19 testing unless they have been referred for testing by a physician.
Scripps Health has set up a COVID-19 nurse line that connects people to nurses dedicated to screening people with fever and/or respiratory symptoms. The phone number is (888) 261-8431.
For more information on the Scripps Health Nurse Line: https://www.scripps.org/news_items/6916-scripps-health-launches-nurse-line-dedicated-to-covid-19

Kaiser Permanente has telehealth options for getting care-including phone, email, and video-without an in-person visit. For more information: https://healthy.kaiserpermanente.org/alerts/p1/2019-novel-coronavirus-feb-2020

School district closures:
All school districts in the City have cancelled classes starting March 16. Please check their websites for the most up-to-date information.
As children are now more directly impacted and might have more questions or concerns about Coronavirus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has put together guidance for parents, school staff, and others working with children: Talking with Children About Coronavirus Disease 2019 https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/schools-childcare/talking-with-children.html

At this time when schools are closing and events are being canceled and people are taking action to prevent the spread of illness, CDC also has the following recommendations for how to prepare:
Protect Your Family: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/protect-family.html
Protect Your Home: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/protect-home.html

Sources for additional information:
San Diego County Health and Human Services
https://www.sandiegocounty.gov/content/sdc/hhsa/programs/phs/community_epidemiology/dc/2019-nCoV.html
California Department of Public Health
https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/Immunization/ncov2019.aspx
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html
For more information or questions, contact Tom Bokosky at (760) 633-2631 or tbokosky@encinitasca.gov.

Updates:
2:02 PM, Mar. 15, 2020: Updates from the city have been added to above from a second news release submitted by the City of Encinitas March 14.

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