We had our regular COVID-19 meeting with local officials on Wednesday, and the struggles our schools and medical community are facing continue to be significant. Both organizations are persistently battling staffing issues during a time when the need is high.
Carlsbad Municipal Schools, which resumed school on Tuesday, has had to temporarily close its testing center at Edison Elementary due to COVID-19 exposure of the district’s testing staff. The school district is working on getting additional staff in as soon as possible to re-open the testing center. We’ll keep you updated as this develops. Carlsbad Municipal Schools also presently has a significant number of employees across the district out due to positive COVID-19 tests. As we understand the situation, the school district is working hard to not go remote. If a school does go remote due to staffing, it will be on a school-by-school basis for five days.
Testing is still being offered at NMSU-Carlsbad. This self-administered test is offered in Room 150. Testing is available Tuesday from 10 a.m. to noon and Thursday from noon to 2 p.m. Tests are also being offered at the civic center front parking lot on Mondays. Tests can also be ordered through a local service called Vault and are being offered by local companies such as CBS Inc. However, many labs are stressed due to a high influx of tests and results are sometimes taking several more days to arrive.
Carlsbad Medical Center reported a 38% positivity rate earlier this week out of 172 COVID-19 tests administered. Lab workers are also busy testing for flu and strep throat.
In many ways, Carlsbad seems to be following national trends in terms of this most recent COVID-19 surge. The good news nationally appears to be that patients aren’t always as sick as they were during the last surge. The bad news is that many health care workers are getting sick and emergency rooms across the country are getting hit very hard with people concerned about COVID-19. This combination adds to an already stressed health care system. Carlsbad’s Emergency Room had 74 visitors on Tuesday.
While all the data may be concerning, please don’t let that ever interfere with seeking medical care when there is any emergency or need. Additionally, there’s some chance for optimism in that a shift toward a more contagious but less severe strain of COVID-19 may be a positive development over the long term. That doesn’t solve the immediate host of issues that our schools and hospitals are facing, but it could hopefully allow us to shift into a post pandemic model.
Carlsbad Mayor Dale Janway