OCEANSIDE — Like other cities in the region, the city of Oceanside is taking the steps it needs to deal with the current coronavirus pandemic.
In an effort to minimize the spread of the virus, the city has closed a number of public services and spaces according to City Manager Deanna Lorson’s office.
Oceanside has four confirmed cases of coronavirus as of March 22, according to the County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency. Though city beaches will remain open, parking lots have closed to minimize occupancy at the beach and increase social distancing.
City parks will also remain open as long as people maintain a safe social distance from one another, but playgrounds at the parks are closed, including skateparks. City-owned golf courses will remain open, but the courses have in place social distancing restrictions.
The city’s Emergency Operations Center is currently operating and holding daily briefings on the pandemic situation.
In a video message to residents, Fire Division Chief David Parsons, the city is working with the county to mobilize against the pandemic. Thanks to Measure X funds, Parsons said the fire department is well equipped to respond.
“All essential city services will continue,” Parsons said in the video. “Our staff is trained and ready to help if you need it.”
Oceanside has also suspending parking enforcement during street sweeping hours and water utility shut-offs.
City Council meetings will continue through its live-streaming service at KOCT.
Residents are encouraged to provide written comments via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org and can also call (760) 435-5999 before noon on the meeting day.
The city has also created a dedicated webpage with daily updates on the coronavirus and the latest orders.
To keep residents well-informed and knowledgeable about recommended precautions when it comes to COVID-19, the city has created a webpage at ci.oceanside.ca.us/gov/fire/home/coronavirus.asp that provides daily updates on the situation.
A recent update reminded residents to not gather in groups, and there have been reports of parties and other gatherings, according to the March 22 update. Residents are still welcome to take a walk, exercise and enjoy the fresh air.
Oceanside’s Neighborhood Services Department is working with the county government to provide shelter for homeless people during the pandemic and beyond.
The city will also continue to provide assistance through its Homeless Outreach Team and the City Housing Authority. City staff is currently working with the Oceanside Sanctuary, Brother Benno’s and Bread of Life to assist with homeless needs during the pandemic as well.
Additionally, city staff is also working with the Oceanside Kitchen Collaborative to provide funding for 3,500 meals per week.
Residents are also being encouraged to check on elderly neighbors through calling or texting them, or through the door.
“Working together, we will get through this crisis,” Parsons said.
Samantha Nelson covers Oceanside, Camp Pendleton and the decommissioning San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station. She earned her journalism degree from the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University, and has previously reported for The Athens Messenger in Athens, Ohio, and USA Today in McLean, Virginia. Follow her on Twitter: @samm1son