Skip to main content

COVID-19 Status Update for 10/27/2020

The Marin County COVID-19 Status Update for October 27 includes news of Marin’s clearance to move from “red” status to “orange” status on the state’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy; A video update from Dr. Matt… Read More

COVID-19 Status Update for 09/30/2020

The status update for September 30, 2020 includes details on new equity metric; schools allowed to reopen to in-classroom instruction; updated COVID-19 Data; and updates on air quality, fire danger and high temperatures.

Para leer esta página en español, desplácese hacia arriba y haga clic en el enlace que dice "Translate" (Traducir) y elija "Spanish" (español).


The Marin County COVID-19 Status Update is now publishing five days a week (Monday through Friday) and as needed, in order to share important news and resources in our battle against COVID-19 and to keep our economy running. We remain here for you.

 

State Confirms “Health Equity Metric” for Blueprint Framework

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) today released the details regarding a health equity metric to help guide counties in their continuing efforts to more effectively fight COVID-19. It requires more intensive efforts to prevent and mitigate the spread of COVID-19 among residents who have been disproportionately impacted by this pandemic.

The health equity metric will be used (along with other metrics) to determine a county’s tier ranking as part of the Blueprint for a Safer Economy. The new metric will go into effect and impact tier assignments as soon as next week, October 6.

The Blueprint for a Safer Economy relies on two measures -- case rate and test positivity – to determine when a county can move to a less restrictive tier with more business sector openings and increased interaction among residents. The aim of the Blueprint is to ensure the rate of infection is progressively lower as a county introduces more movement and mixing.  

Most counties have differences in test positivity among more and less advantaged neighborhoods, with these differences often also overlapping with race and likelihood of employment as essential workers. Especially as counties move into less restrictive tiers with more movement, the importance of this differential prevalence of infection grows because mixing and opportunities for transmission increase.

Equity is a major focus for the State and Marin County as COVID-19 continues to have a disproportionate impact on communities of color. Approximately 67% of cases in Marin County are among the LatinX population. The purpose of this metric is to ensure Marin County and the broader region reopens its economy safely by reducing disease transmission in all communities.

The new health equity metric includes a large county metric, a small county metric and a partnership effort with the state and counties to increase race/ethnicity reporting. Marin’s population qualifies it for the “large county metric,” defined below.

In order to move to the next less restrictive tier (Tier 3 or orange status), Marin County will need to meet the new equity metric and/or demonstrate targeted investments to eliminate disparities in levels of transmission.

  • Equity Metric:  Marin must ensure the test positivity rates in its most disadvantaged neighborhoods do not significantly fall behind its overall county test positivity rate. The state will measure test positivity in the lowest quartile of the California Health Places Index (HPI) within Marin. The test positivity of that lowest quartile must be within or near threshold explained on CDPH’s Equity Metric page. So, for Marin to move from red status to orange status, the test positivity for the entire county must meet the less than 5% threshold, but also the test positivity for the lowest quartile HPI census tracts in the county must be within 5% of the orange tier threshold (or ≤5.2%).  
  • Targeted Investments: The state requires counties to submit a plan that (1) defines its disproportionately impacted populations, (2) specifies the percent of its COVID-19 cases in these populations, and (3) shows that it plans to invest Epidemiology and Laboratory Capacity for Prevention and Control of Emerging Infectious Diseases grant funds to invest in the communities within their county which have had the disproportionate share of COVID-19 cases. The targeted investments can include spending on augmenting testing, disease investigation, contact tracing, isolation/quarantine support, and education and outreach efforts for workers. 

In addition, to support a data-driven approach to protecting public health and eliminating COVID-19 disparities, the state will partner with counties to improve the collection of race and ethnicity data associated with testing and cases. To date, approximately a third of cases and up to half of test results reported to the state so do not have required race/ethnicity data.

MORE INFORMATION:

 

Maintaining Tier 2 Status Means Schools Can Reopen: Now What?

Marin’s consistent Tier 2 (red status) ranking for the past two weeks means K-12 schools are eligible for reopening at least some in-person instruction. This means schools no longer need apply for a waiver through Marin Public Health (with approval from California Department of Public Health). However, all schools must complete a School Site-Specific Protection Plan, incorporating Marin County Public Health School Guidelines, State guidelines, and following CDPH’s School Re-opening Framework.

Does this mean all Marin County schools will reopen immediately? No. Individual schools and respective districts choose when, and at what pace, in-person classroom learning will resume. Some schools may choose to reopen as early as Monday, and others have indicated they will reopen later in Fall.

The green light for schools to return to in-person classroom learning has raised three key questions:  

  • What actions are schools taking to prepare for instruction to return to campus?  Since March, Marin County Public Health and Marin County Office of Education (MCOE) have been working together with local school districts, public, private, parochial and independent schools to rethink school and prepare for a safer return to in-person instruction. In June, MCOE and Public Health issued guidelines for re-opening, which include enhanced health and safety practices, training, and surveillance testing.  Prior to re-opening, all Marin schools must submit their school site-specific protection plan (SSSPP) to Public Health for review. In addition, each school has a multi-disciplinary Task Force to support the SSSPP implementation process. They will meet regularly to monitor and adjust the plan based on input from all stakeholders.
  • What happens if a case is confirmed at a school? Each school has Public Health Liaison(s) to ensure adherence to COVID-19 exposure protocols.  When a case (student or staff) is identified, Marin County Public Health determines if any additional students or staff have been exposed and will recommend cohort closure(s) . Public Health will recommend cohort closure(s) if additional .  All schools are required to close when at least 5% of staff and students test positive for COVID-19 within 14 days. School districts must close if one-quarter of schools in the districts are closed due to COVID-19 cases. Schools can usually reopen within 14 days after campuses have been thoroughly cleaned and disinfected, public health contact tracing is completed, and the county public health department has given its approval.
  • What if Marin County moves back to Tier 1 (purple status)? If we move back to Tier 1 status on the Blueprint for a Safer Economy, schools are not required to close. However, schools that have not reopened at the time of transition to Tier 1 would have to remain closed to in-person instruction until Marin County achieves Tier 2 status for 14 consecutive days once again.

Education leaders and Marin County Public Health have worked hard to establish collaborative structures to implement strategies that will support students, staff, and teachers while optimizing both learning and safety in the age of COVID-19.

MORE INFORMATION:

 

 

COVID-19 Data Update:

Below is a summary of today’s data now available on Marin Data & Surveillance webpage. View the page for a broader range of data, plus interactive graphs for confirmed COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths. Data analysis is available by age range, gender, race and city/town/geographic region. Questions about the data? See our Data FAQ or contact us.

COVID-19 activity in Marin:

DATA TYPE

Today’s Report

Change from Last Status Update*

Total Confirmed Cases

4,501

+ 8

Total Recovered (14 days post-diagnosis)

4,237

+ 29

Total Deaths

91

0

Current Hospitalizations

8

0

Total / Cumulative Hospitalizations

144

0

Tests Completed in Marin

80,888

+ 330

* The Marin County COVID-19 Status Update is published Monday – Friday. Monday editions of the status update include data from Monday plus Saturday and Sunday of the previous weekend. Therefore, data shown under the “change from last update” heading will always be larger on Mondays and differ from what is published on the Coronavirus in Marin homepage, which is updated 7 days per week. 

Residential Care & Skilled Nursing Facility COVID-19 activity:

DATA TYPE

Today’s Report

Change from Last Status Update

Positive Patients at Facilities cumulative

453

0

Positive Patients at Facilities current

4

- 3

Positive Staff at Facilities current

12

+ 1

Facility Patient Deaths

76

0

Facility Patient Deaths as percentage of all COVID+ deaths

84 %

0

 

State COVID-19 activity:

DATA TYPE

Today’s Report

Change from yesterday

California Confirmed Cases

810,625

3,200

California Deaths

15,792

152

 

 

In Other News… (Non-COVID Updates)

While the following is not related to COVID, it is news from Marin County's Emergency Operations Center that we thought you should know about.

Air District issues Spare the Air Alert for Week

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District has issued a Spare the Air Alert for this week (through Friday, October 2) due to wildfire smoke. Officials expect smoke to drain into the Bay Area from far Northern California and impact air quality in the Bay Area region. The Marin County AQI forecast for Tuesday, September 29 is Red or “Unhealthy.”

Smoke from wildfires can affect health. The most common symptoms are eye and throat irritation, coughing, and difficulty breathing. Those with health problems, especially heart or respiratory conditions, should take extra caution.

Follow these precautions to protect your health:

  • Minimize outdoor activities.  Postpone/Reschedule intense outdoor cardio activities.
  • Stay indoors with windows and doors closed as much as possible.
  • Do not run fans that bring smoky outdoor air inside.
  • Run your air-conditioner only if it does not bring smoke in from the outdoors.
  • Avoid activities that create more indoor and outdoor air pollution, such as frying foods, sweeping, vacuuming, and using gas-powered appliances.
  • Consider leaving the area until smoke conditions improve if you experience symptoms related to smoke exposure.
  • Check on family, friends, and neighbors who may be sensitive to poor air quality and who spend much of their time alone.

Related Resources:

And as a reminder, it is illegal for Bay Area residents and businesses to use their fireplaces, wood stoves, pellet stoves, outdoor fire pits or any other wood-burning devices during a Spare the Air Alert for particulate pollution.

 

Prepare for High Temperatures This Week

National Weather Service is predicting temperatures in the upper 90s for Marin’s inland areas on Thursday, October 1. While overnight temperatures should allow homes to cool off at night, high temperatures during the day can affect those who are sensitive to heat. Marin Health and Human Services (HHS) encourages everyone to be on the lookout for heat-related illnesses, either in themselves or their families and friends. Exposure to extreme heat can cause a variety of health problems, including heat stroke and death. View some of the resources below for tips to stay cool during warm weather.

 Warm Weather Safety Resources

 

Red Flag Warning Issued for Thursday and Friday

National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Warning for higher elevation areas of Marin County from Thursday afternoon (1pm) to Friday evening (6am). A Red Flag Warning means that critical fire weather conditions are expected during this time frame for strong wind gusts and hot, dry conditions. Residents are advised to exercise extreme caution during the Red Flag Warning because a simple spark could cause a major wildfire, including the use of equipment and machinery as well as smoking.

Red Flag Warning & Wildfire Preparedness Information Resources

 

 

Stay Informed

Follow the County of Marin on Facebook, Twitter, Nextdoor or subscribe to our status updates. Visit MarinHHS.org/coronavirus for resources to stay connected on the issue.

Helpful Links and Online Resources:

 

Contact Us.  We Are Here for You.

Have questions?  We are here to help.  Our call center is available Monday through Friday, from 9:30am to 12-noon and 1:00pm to 5:00pm. Please feel free to connect with us for general information and resources by calling (415) 473-7191.  We are also available online!  As a reminder, please only call 9-1-1 if you are experiencing a life-threatening emergency.

 

Spread the word: How your friends and family can receive these updates:

  • Text "MARIN COVID" to 468311 to receive text message notifications      
  • Subscribe online to receive email notifications