We are all deeply concerned about the spread of the coronavirus and its impact on our community, our families, and our loved ones. Please know that the Oceanside City Council, along with our entire City organization, are working with our colleagues in neighboring cities, the county, the state and congressional elected officials, non-profits, and our private sector partners to identify needs, resources, and services for our community. Oceanside’s Emergency Operations Center is activated and responding each day. We are working full speed to respond to the many concerns and needs we are hearing. I appreciate the way our community is coming together to address this situation.
The most critical thing we can do at this time is to practice physical distancing, staying in place as much as you can, and continue to wash hands frequently, and disinfect touched surfaces.
As of this writing, there are 11 confirmed case of the virus in Oceanside and 519 in San Diego County. The City of Oceanside continues to closely monitor the situation and coordinate with San Diego Department of Public Health, Tri-City Hospital, and others.
I want to thank all of you who are working on the front lines right now—Oceanside Fire personnel responding to 911 medical calls, the Oceanside Police Department Dispatchers screening callers for COVID-19 symptoms, the Oceanside Police Homeless Outreach Team, reaching the most vulnerable homeless people with information and resources for help, the doctors and nurses screening and treating patients, the janitors cleaning rooms, the delivery personnel, the grocery workers, the list goes on. We will forever be grateful to how you are helping our community.
Please continue to support our local businesses in any way you can. The Oceanside GIS team created a map of local restaurants that remain open. Businesses needing loans and workers’ needing assistance can find resources here.
From a City perspective, we are maintaining all essential services – Public Safety, customer service calls, Water Utilities, Housing, Senior Services, Public Works, Financial Services, Development Services, and more. Many City employees are working remotely; some went to A/B shifts to maintain distancing. All City facilities with public counters are closed; meetings and events are either cancelled for the next several weeks (or longer) or may occur remotely.
The City Council meetings are temporarily closed to the public due to ban on gatherings, but they are available to watch on KOCT or live stream. Citizens may email or call in their agenda item comments.
The City Council has taken several steps during this crisis to help our community. On March 18, the Council ratified an Emergency Declaration. This step enables the City to take additional legal, operational, and recovery measures that may be needed to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
On March 25, the City Council approved more financial support to expand food resources for all in our community that need them. Residents may call (760) 435-4500 to learn more or visit this resource webpage.
On March 26, the City Council approved a temporary ban on both commercial and residential evictions (including mobile homes) through May 31, 2020. The Council recognizes that many Californians are experiencing substantial losses of income related to COVID-19 and acted to take measures to preserve and increase housing security to protect public health.
The City has also set up a Water Utilities Relief Program for businesses. We’ve suspended tickets on street sweeping days, have closed the Pier, all playgrounds and picnic areas, parking lots near the beach, recreation centers, senior centers, libraries, and public counters.
Oceanside is currently following the State of California’s lead on state beaches, instituting a soft closure, including ones in San Diego County such as Carlsbad State Beach and Torrey Pines. The State indicates that outdoor recreation is allowed: “So long as you are maintaining a safe social distance of six feet from people who aren’t part of your household, it is ok to go outside for exercise, a walk or fresh air.” Additionally, “California State Parks have closed indoor facilities and campgrounds, but outdoor spaces are still open. Spending time outdoors can lead to a number of overall health and wellness benefits like lessening anxiety, boosting creativity and getting your vitamin D. Remember to keep social distance.”
Oceanside’s beaches are being monitored for compliance. All beach lots are closed to minimize density--and lingering, picnicking, and sunbathing are not allowed. We recognize that being outside is healthy for our bodies and minds. Take a quick walk or a run for some air, and go home. Lifeguards are making announcements and approaching anyone at the beach that is not actively moving along. The beach status is being reviewed daily, and is subject to closure at any time. If you do go outside, please maintain a safe distance as you pass another. Model the right thing to do, help your fellow community members stay safe. Each one of us has a vital role in this.
As Mayor, I want to assure all residents, business owners, and visitors that the City of Oceanside will continue to maintain necessary services, and make any necessary decisions to minimize risk.
Please continue to stay connected to the City by signing up for news announcements, following along on social media, and by visiting the dedicated COVID-19 webpages. You can also receive texts on COVID-19 from San Diego County here.
Oceanside is a community that cares for its own. Protecting public health and that of City staff is vital. Both will continue to be the guide when making decisions. The public is urged to follow the recommendations by our health experts for slowing the spread of this virus. As we move forward, let’s continue to work together and remember to be calm and patient. We have been through difficult challenges in the past. We will get through this and thrive as a community. I look forward to seeing you all again soon.
Mayor, City of Oceanside