The March 18 status update reviews COVID-19 cases in Marin, discusses recommendations for shopping hours for seniors, enhancing data on COVID-19 prevalence, details new guidance on quarantine interval, and provides a video update from Dr. Lisa Santora, Marin County’s Deputy Public Health Officer talking about social distancing and why it is so important.
COVID-19 activity in Marin:
- Total cases in Marin: 15
- COVID-19 related deaths in Marin: 0
- As of March 17, 2020 at 6:00p.m., 598 cases and 13 deaths in California, according to the California Department of Public Health.
Marin County Public Health continues to advance policies to limit community spread and support our excellent healthcare partners’ capacity to respond.
Shopping hours for seniors recommended
To protect the most vulnerable local residents from the COVID-19 virus, Marin County Public Health recommends that grocery stores and other retail stores that sell essential items reserve an interval at the start of each day to allow seniors privileged access to shopping.
Monday’s sheltering order indicates that travel outside the home is allowable to obtain essential goods and services, including groceries. It is strongly recommended that residents 65 and older and those with weakened immune systems use home delivery options whenever possible. The new shopping recommendation is intended to ensure a safer experience for seniors who need to shop. Nearly one in three Marin County residents is above age 65.
Approaches to the shopping recommendation taken elsewhere include opening early for hours reserved for seniors, or dedicating the earliest hour(s) of regular business time to seniors. The decision to follow this recommendation is voluntary by business owners and will not be enforced as part of the shelter at home Public Health Order.
Enhancing Data on COVID-19 Prevalence
More laboratories in both the public and private sector are gaining the ability to perform COVID-19 testing. While this increases testing capacity, it presents challenges to make sure results are known to Public Health authorities to track incidence of disease and perform investigations of cases. To address this issue, Public Health Officer, Matt Willis, put in place an Order mandating private laboratories report all data to Marin County Public Health related to COVID-19 testing. This will allow more accurate tracking of the prevalence of COVID-19 in our community.
New Guidance on quarantine interval
Most of Marin County’s earliest cases of COVID-19 are fully recovered, just in time for new guidance from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) for when you no longer need to self-isolate at home after contracting COVID-19.
Persons with COVID-19 who have symptoms and were directed to care for themselves at home may discontinue home isolation under the following conditions:
- At least 3 days (72 hours) have passed since recovery defined as resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and improvement in respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath); and,
- At least 7 days have passed since symptoms first appeared.
Individuals with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 who have not had any symptoms may discontinue home isolation when at least 7 days have passed since the date of their first positive COVID-19 diagnostic test and have had no subsequent illness.
A message from your Deputy Public Health Officer
For today’s update, Dr. Lisa Santora, Marin County’s Deputy Public Health Officer talks about social distancing and why it is so important. In addition, she discusses the Public Health Order and why it is in place.