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Public Health Status Update for 09/22/2023

Marin County Public Health Status Update for September 22, 2023, includes Watching for Winter Virus Surge; Wildfire Smoke Persists in Marin; Free COVID-19 Tests from Federal Supplies; E-Bike Injuries on the Rise; and COVID-19… Read More

Frequently Asked Questions

Most people with COVID-19 will have mild symptoms and should stay at home. A COVID-positive individual should isolate themselves away from others within their household in a separate room/bathroom if possible. The length of isolation will vary according to vaccination status and whether or not the individual has symptoms.

Care at home includes bed rest, fluids, and over the counter fever reducing medicine.

If the person develops emergency warning signs for COVID-19, get medical attention immediately. Emergency warning signs include*:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion or inability to arouse
  • Bluish lips or face

*This list is not all-inclusive. Please consult your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning.

While anyone in the home has, or thinks they may have, COVID-19, everyone in the home should follow quarantine guidelines and ensure rigorous cleaning and disinfection steps are taken every day.

For more information please read the CDC Quarantine & Isolation webpage.

Source: CDC

Last Updated 02/24/2022 - 14:40

We recommend leaving your children at home in the care of another adult. If you have no other option, you are welcome to bring your child.

Last Updated 07/06/2021 - 11:15

The U.S. vaccine safety system makes sure all vaccines are as safe as possible. COVID-19 vaccines have gone through the same safety tests and meet the same standards as other vaccines. People living with HIV (PLWH) were included in clinical trials, though safety data specific to this group are not yet available.

While this specific safety data is missing, PLWH are encouraged to be vaccinated. Patients are encouraged to consult with their primary care provider if their case may qualify for vaccine prioritization. Note that this currently only applies to patients who are immunocompromised and is largely determined by the state. If you decide to get vaccinated, continue to take everyday preventive actions to protect yourself against COVID-19. Check out this article from April 2021 about some current studies of the vaccines with this population.

Last Updated 07/06/2021 - 14:35

At this time, researchers do not know whether the presence of antibodies means that you are immune to COVID-19; or if you are immune, how long it will last. In people who have received a COVID-19 vaccination, antibody testing is not recommended to determine whether you are immune or protected from COVID-19.

Antibody (Serology) Testing for COVID-19: Information for Patients and Consumers | FDA

Last Updated 07/27/2021 - 13:45

It currently takes 2-3 business days to get the results from a COVID-19 test, with some medical providers providing faster results. 

While you are waiting on your results, you must self-isolate:

  • Do not leave your home:  Except for a medical emergency, you should not leave your home.  A household member or friend should handle any outside activities that are allowed under the shelter-in-place order, such as grocery shopping.
  • Isolate yourself to a small space in your home: If possible, designate a room and bathroom that only you will use until you know your test results.  The smaller the area, the easier it will be to disinfect it properly.

For detailed guidance visit our Isolation & Quarantine webpage, or the Marin County Office of Education's Rethinking Schools webpage for isolation and quarantine guidance for students.

Learn more about COVID-19 testing in Marin County by visiting our Testing Information webpage.

Last Updated 04/27/2022 - 14:24

Yes. Presently, there is no local masking mandate in Marin County, however California masking guidelines remain in effect.  California's recommendation is that all people continue wearing masks indoors, regardless of vaccination status. 

Businesses may choose to require masks be worn in indoor settings, regardless of vaccination status. If a restaurant asks you to keep your mask on while you are waiting for your food to arrive, or after you have finished your meal, please comply.

You can remove your mask to address basic biological necessities like eating and drinking, but you should replace your mask as soon as possible if you have to remove it.  Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer both before and after handling your face covering.

Last Updated 03/01/2022 - 14:05

The COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson do not use pork gelatin in their formulas. Gelatin from pork and cow products is often used in vaccines to stabilize the drug’s ingredients and ensure they remain effective through the distribution process. The three COVID-19 vaccines also do not contain eggs, preservatives, or latex.


For a full list of ingredients, please see each the information provided by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) below:

Last Updated 06/21/2022 - 14:28
No. There has been no recall.  PCR tests are considered the gold standard for diagnosing COVID-19.
In July 2021, the FDA notified labs that on December 31, 2021, the temporary emergency use authorization for one specific type of PCR test will be revoked simply because that test will be discontinued from production. The FDA notification was not questioning the reliability of PCR tests, but to instead give any labs that are relying on that one specific test enough time to begin transitioning to a new test because the soon-to-be discontinued test will no longer be available after December 31.  The FDA has authorized nearly 400 tests and sample collection kits to diagnose COVID-19, many of which are PCR tests.  No Marin County Public Health -partner testing providers are using the PCR test that will be discontinued on December 31.
Last Updated 07/27/2021 - 16:44

If you test positive, even if you do not feel sick, you should immediately isolate yourself in a room of your home away from anyone else you live with. 

Follow your healthcare provider’s advice and take all hygiene and disinfectant precautions to prevent others from getting sick.  See our Isolation and Quarantine page for details.

Learn more about COVID-19 testing in Marin County by visiting our Testing Information webpage.

Last Updated 02/24/2022 - 15:23


(Effective March 12, 2022) No. Unless a school or school district opts to enforce stricter masking guidelines, although it is still strongly recommended, it is no longer required that staff and students wear face coverings in indoor K-12 settings. Masks are optional outdoors and, in general, people do not need to wear masks when outdoors (e.g., participating in outdoor play, recess, and physical education activities).

Universal masking indoors in K-12 schools is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics and by the CDC in their Guidance for COVID-19 Prevention in K-12 schools. Staff and students should follow CDC and CDPH face covering guidance.


According to current CDPH face covering guidance, there are specific settings where everyone is required to wear a mask indoors, regardless of vaccination status:

  • Emergency shelters, including heating and cooling centers
  • Healthcare settings, including long-term care settings and adult & senior care facilities
  • State & local correctional facilities and detention centers
  • Homeless shelters


In general, unvaccinated children and youth do not need to wear a mask outdoors, even if they cannot maintain physical distancing.

Last Updated 04/27/2022 - 14:42

Yes. COVID-19 vaccination is recommended for people who are pregnant, breastfeeding, trying to get pregnant now, or might become pregnant in the future. Getting a COVID-19 vaccine can help protect you from getting very sick from COVID-19. If you are pregnant or were recently pregnant, you are more likely to get very sick from COVID-19 compared to people who are not pregnant. Additionally, if you have COVID-19 during pregnancy, you are at increased risk of complications that can affect your pregnancy and developing baby. People who are pregnant should stay up to date with their COVID-19 vaccines, including getting a COVID-19 booster shot when it’s time to get one.

The COVID-19 vaccine, like other vaccines, works by training our bodies to develop antibodies to fight against the virus that causes COVID-19, to prevent future illness. Evidence continues to build showing that COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy is safe and effective. There is currently no evidence that any vaccines, including COVID-19 vaccines, cause fertility problems in women or men.

Last Updated 03/08/2022 - 16:44

Public Health Orders and Advisories are measures taken to preserve the public health. To view the current Health Orders in effect for Marin County, visit our Health Order webpage.

Last Updated 02/23/2022 - 12:03

While not common, sometimes a person can get a false negative test result. This could be for a number of reasons including that the person was infected very shortly before the test so there was not enough of a viral load in the body to trigger a positive result.

If you continue feeling sick or develop symptoms after the test you should isolate yourself and contact your healthcare provider.

For detailed guidance visit our Isolation & Quarantine page.

Learn more about COVID-19 testing in Marin County by visiting our Testing Information webpage.

Last Updated 02/22/2022 - 16:29

Presently, there is no local masking mandate in Marin County, however California masking requirements remain in effect. Businesses may elect to implement indoor face covering policies that are stricter than current CDPH masking guidelines (e.g., requiring all patrons and employees to wear a mask). 

A store can prohibit you from entering their business if you are not wearing a face covering in accordance with their own masking policy. However, if you have a medical condition or disability that prevents you from safely wearing a face covering, then you should speak with a store manager or employee about a reasonable accommodation to help you obtain the services you need without endangering your health or the health of the other customers.

If you are at a restaurant where food or drink is served AND there is a universal masking policy,  you may remove your mask to address basic biological needs like eating or drinking, but you should replace your mask as soon as possible if you have to remove it.

Both Marin County Public Health and California Department of Public Health strongly encourage the use of masks indoors, especially for our residents who are more vulnerable to infection or more at risk of severe outcomes from COVID-19.

Last Updated 03/15/2022 - 14:27

People who are pregnant and part of a group recommended to receive the COVID-19 vaccine may choose to be vaccinated. While breastfeeding is an important consideration, it is rarely a safety concern with vaccines. Recent reports have shown that breastfeeding people who have received mRNA COVID-19 vaccines have antibodies in their breastmilk, which could help protect their babies. More data are needed to determine what level of protection these antibodies may provide to the baby. If you have questions about getting vaccinated, talking with a healthcare provider may might help you make an informed decision.


More information can be found here: Vaccination Considerations for People who are Pregnant or Breastfeeding | CDC

Last Updated 03/17/2022 - 14:08

Some people experience side effects from the COVID-19 vaccine. Side effects are usually mild and generally happen within 6 weeks of receiving a vaccination. It is for this reason the FDA required each of the authorized COVID-19 vaccines to be studied for at least two months (eight weeks) after the final dose.

Some common side effects include:  

  • Pain, redness, or swelling at the injection site 
  • Tiredness 
  • Headache 
  • Muscle pain 
  • Chills 
  • Fever 
  • Nausea 

For more information, visit the CDC webpage: Possible Side Effects After Getting a COVID-19 Vaccine 

Last Updated 09/27/2021 - 15:14

Yes. Your personal information will not be not shared.

Test results are only shared with the referring healthcare provider and Marin Public Health. 

Marin Public Health does not release any identifying information about individuals.  The only data publicly reported is age range, race/ethnicity and gender.  That information is shared on Marin's Coronavirus Data Page in compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA).

Learn more about COVID-19 testing in Marin County by visiting our Testing Information webpage.

Last Updated 02/17/2022 - 11:12

The CDC and CDPH have updated their guidance around masks with valves according to whether or not they are NIOSH-approved.

If the mask in question is a NIOSH-approved N95 filtering facepiece respirator (FFR) with an exhalation valve, it will offer the same level of protection to the wearer as one that does not have a valve. Additionally, findings from NIOSH research indicate that FFRs "can also reduce particle emissions to levels similar to or better than those provided by surgical masks, procedure masks, or cloth face coverings."

To find out if your mask is NIOSH-approved, check the NIOSH approval number and approval label. The  NIOSH approval label can be found on or within the packaging of the respirator or sometimes on the respirator itself. The required labeling of NIOSH-Approved N95 filtering facepiece respirators  includes the NIOSH name, the approval number, filter designations, lot number, and model number to be printed on the respirator. You can verify that your respirator approvals are valid by checking the NIOSH Certified Equipment List (CEL).

Read Get the Most out of Masking to learn how a mask can best protect you.

Last Updated 02/24/2022 - 15:35

Severe reactions to any vaccine are very rare.  Most people experience only mild side effects, such as a sore arm or mild headache.

After you receive your vaccine, you are required to remain on site for 15-30 minutes for observation. When severe allergic reactions do occur, they tend to happen in the minutes following your injection. Vaccination sites have trained medical personnel on site to help you if you should experience any level of allergic reaction.

If you should experience a reaction after you return home and do not have medical insurance, you can seek care from a local community health center or hospital, or a Federally Qualified Healthcare Center.

Last Updated 07/06/2021 - 14:18

Presently, there is no local masking mandate in Marin County, however California masking guidelines remain in effect. Both Marin County Public Health and California Department of Public Health strongly encourage the use of masks indoors, especially for our residents who are more vulnerable to infection or more at risk of severe outcomes from COVID-19. Businesses, however, may elect to implement indoor face covering policies that are stricter than current CDPH masking guidelines (e.g., requiring all patrons and employees to wear a mask). 

In some settings, masks are required for all, regardless of vaccination status. Visit the Guidance for the Use of Face Masks page from the California Department of Public Health to see where everyone must wear a mask. 

There are exemptions to wearing a face covering for indoor public spaces. The State Face Covering Guidance exempts the following individuals from wearing masks:

  • Children under two years old, due to the risk of suffocation.
  • People with:
    • A medical condition, 
    • A Mental health condition, or 
    • A disability that prevents wearing a mask. This includes:
      • Those for whom a mask could obstruct breathing
      • Who are unconscious or incapacitated 
      • Unable to remove a mask without assistance
  • People for whom seeing the mouth is essential for communication:
    • Hearing impaired, or 
    • Those communicating with a person who is hearing impaired.
  • People for whom wearing a mask would create a risk as they work, as determined by:
    • Local, state, or federal regulators, or 
    • Workplace safety guidelines.
  • See complete mask exemptions details at CDPH’s Guidance for the Use of Face Coverings.

Employees or customers witnessing a local business abusing the exemptions listed on this page are encouraged to report the violation to the appropriate local authority.

Last Updated 03/01/2022 - 15:17

Get tested for COVID-19 if you feel sick, whether you’re vaccinated or unvaccinated. If you feel sick, even after a negative test result, you should take precautions, including isolating yourself in order to protect others.

Transmission of COVID-19 continues to be widespread in the U.S. Continue to practice all the protective measures recommended to keep yourself and others free from illness.

For more information about preventing COVID-19, visit the CDC How to Protect Yourself and Others webpage.

Last Updated 02/17/2022 - 16:17

It is permissible for an employer to require employees be tested for COVID and share their results with the employer, as long as the test is “job-related and consistent with business necessity.”

It is important that employees be virus-free when they come to work. Requiring testing and requiring employees to share the results is permissible. The employer must keep the employee medical information confidential and must maintain it separately from the employee’s personnel file.

Last Updated 07/02/2021 - 16:39

Muslim communities have expressed concern over the contents of some of the COVID-19 vaccines currently in clinical trials and production around the world. At the center of their apprehension is whether the vaccines contain pig fat or pork products, which are prohibited under Islamic law.

On Dec. 23, 2020, the United Arab Emirates’ highest Islamic authority said that COVID-19 vaccines are permissible for Muslims, even if they contain pork gelatin. In other countries, including India, Muslim leaders are still debating their positions.

The COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna do not use pork gelatin in their formulas. Gelatin from pork and cow products is often used in vaccines to stabilize the drug’s ingredients and ensure they remain effective through the distribution process. The two COVID-19 vaccines also do not contain eggs, preservatives, or latex.


For a full list of ingredients, please see each vaccine’s Fact Sheet for Recipients and Caregivers:

Last Updated 07/06/2021 - 14:39

Vaccination against COVID-19 helps protect your child from getting COVID-19.
COVID-19 infection in children may occur less often than infection in adults. The COVID-19 vaccine helps keep your child from getting very sick even if he or she gets COVID-19. Research shows that vaccines can help prevent people, including kids, from spreading COVID-19 to others. Getting your child vaccinated helps protect your child and your family.

Last Updated 02/14/2022 - 14:58

ISOLATION separates sick people with a contagious disease from people who are not sick:

  • COVID-19 positive people must isolate

QUARANTINE separates and restricts the movement of people who were exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick. These people may have been exposed to a disease and do not know it, or they may have the disease but do not show symptoms:

  • Effective April 6th, 2022, quarantine recommendations for asymptomatic exposed persons (for the general public) have been removed in order to align with state guidance. If you have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19 in a high risk setting, you may still need to quarantine depending on your vaccination status.​​​​​​
Last Updated 04/27/2022 - 14:28

For the most up-to-date information on local county schools and COVID-19, visit the Marin County Office of Education Health Safety and Support webpage and our Schools page.

Last Updated 09/13/2023 - 15:06

Most people do not have serious problems after being vaccinated. This type of vaccine (i.e. mRNA vaccine) has a unique modality making it safer than many.  However, your arm may be sore, red, or warm to the touch. These symptoms usually go away on their own <72 hours. Some people report getting a headache or fever when getting a vaccine. These side effects are a sign that your immune system is doing exactly what it is supposed to do. It is working and building up protection for the disease. 


Last Updated 07/06/2021 - 14:21

No. None of the COVID-19 vaccines licensed in the United States contain the live virus that causes COVID-19.
This means that COVID-19 vaccines cannot make you sick with COVID-19. COVID-19 vaccines teach our immune system to recognize and fight SARS-Cov-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Sometimes this process can produce side effects, such as fever. These side effects are normal and are signs that the body is building protection against the virus that causes COVID-19.

Last Updated 02/24/2022 - 10:27

It is important to clean and disinfect your home frequently: 

  • Clean and disinfect any surfaces you touch. Disinfect household surfaces every day. These surfaces include counters, toilets, TV remotes, phones, doorknobs, etc. To properly clean:
  • Use EPA approved disinfectant: This chart lists all approved disinfectants that kill the COVID-19 virus.

If you do not have an EPA approved disinfectant, you can use a solution of 1/3 cup household bleach to one gallon of water. Leave the solution on the surface for five minutes to disinfect properly.

Carefully follow cleaning instructions: The amount of time a disinfectant should stay on a surface will depend on the product.  The time can vary from 30 seconds to 5 minutes.  Read the instructions on the container to know how to properly kill the virus that causes COVID-19.

Clean dirty surfaces with detergent or soap and water before disinfecting them.

Use precautions when washing soft surfaces:  

  • Wear disposable gloves when handling potentially infected laundry.  If disposable gloves are not available, disinfect the outside of reusable gloves before removing them.
  • Do not shake laundry before putting in the washing machine to avoid dispersing any virus into the air.
  • Use the warmest water setting possible (based on the manufacturer's care instructions). Thoroughly dry all clothing.
  • Clean and disinfect clothing hampers the same way you would clean and disinfect other hard surfaces.
  • It is OK to wash clothes/sheets from the isolation area with other clothes/sheets but keep isolation area laundry separate until you plan to do laundry.

Sources: Marin HHS, CDC, EPA

Last Updated 07/02/2021 - 16:49

Cold, influenza and COVID-19 symptoms can be similar. Regardless, keeping a child home that is sick or showing COVID-related symptoms is a good way to reduce the spread of colds and flu within schools. As for others in your household, if your child is showing symptoms, it is important to evaluate your child’s symptoms and possible exposures to COVID-19 when deciding whether other children in your household should stay home. For the most up-to-date information around when children need to isolate or quarantine, visit MCOE's Health Safety and Support website or our Schools page.

Last Updated 09/14/2023 - 09:19

The mRNA vaccine has no impact on a person’s DNA. Messenger RNA (mRNA) allows cells to make proteins that trigger an immune response to the coronavirus, stopping it from entering a person’s cells. The first vaccines granted emergency use authorization (EUA) contain mRNA, which instructs cells to make the “spike protein” found on the new coronavirus. When the immune system recognizes this protein, it builds an immune response by creating antibodies — teaching the body how to protect against future infection. The mRNA never enters the nucleus of the cell, which is where our DNA (genetic material) is kept. That means the mRNA does not affect or interact with your DNA in any way. COVID-19 vaccines that use mRNA work with the body’s natural defenses to safely develop immunity to the virus, giving your cells a blueprint of how to make antibodies. Learn more about how COVID-19 mRNA vaccines work

Last Updated 07/06/2021 - 14:21

No. COVID-19 vaccines do not change or interact with your DNA in any way. Different types of vaccines work in different ways to offer protection. But with all types of vaccines, including COVID-19 vaccines, an immune response is triggered inside our bodies. That immune response, which produces antibodies, is what protects us from getting infected if the real virus enters our bodies.

The spike protein (Johnson & Johnson) and the mRNA (Moderna & Pfizer) delivered by COVID-19 vaccines do not last long within the body and never enter the nucleus of the cell, which is where our DNA is kept.

Visit the CDC's webpages Understanding How COVID-19 Vaccines Work for more information.


Last Updated 02/24/2022 - 11:29

Based on currently available information and clinical expertise, older adults and people of all ages who have serious underlying medical conditions may be at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19.

For more information visit the CDC COVID-19 Recommendations for Older Adults webpage.

Last Updated 03/17/2022 - 12:01

Fever free for 24 hours and with improving symptoms. 

**This guidance is for the general population: For school staff and students, follow the guidance of your doctor which may be specific to your individual health needs. In general, if you have symptoms, stay at home until you are fever-free for at least 24 hours (without the aid of fever reducing medication) and 10 days after your symptoms have resolved.**

Last Updated 03/22/2022 - 16:29

No vaccine injections or nasal sprays – including shots for COVID-19 – contain microchips, nanochips, RFID trackers or devices that would track or control your body in any way. Shipments of vaccine doses are monitored as they are shipped and administered across the country but the notion that these shots will contain tracking devices implanted into people is false. 

Last Updated 07/06/2021 - 14:22

No. Children receive a smaller dosage. The Pfizer vaccine dose is 1/10 of the adult dose. The Moderna vaccine dose is 1/4 of the adult dose. COVID-19 vaccine given to younger recipients is effective in preventing COVID-19.  

Last Updated 06/22/2022 - 11:03
  • Although the overall risks are low, if you are pregnant or were recently pregnant, you are more likely to get very sick from COVID-19 compared to people who are not pregnant. Pregnant people who contract COVID-19 are at higher risk for pregnancy complications affecting them and their developing baby, such as preterm birth (delivering the baby earlier than 37 weeks), high blood pressure, bleeding disorders, death, and stillbirth. 
  • Having certain underlying medical conditions, and other factors, including age, can further increase a pregnant or recently pregnant (for at least 42 days following end of pregnancy) person’s risk for developing severe COVID-19 illness.
  • Pregnant and recently pregnant people and those who live with or visit them need to take steps to protect themselves from getting sick with COVID-19.
  • To maximize protection from variants and prevent possibly spreading the virus to others, wear a mask indoors in public in areas with a high COVID-19 Community Level. People who are pregnant or have other conditions that could put them at higher risk for severe illness should speak with their healthcare provider about wearing a mask in public indoor spaces at the medium COVID-19 Community Level.
  • Recent reports have shown that breastfeeding people who have received mRNA COVID-19 vaccines have antibodies in their breastmilk, which could help protect their babies. More data are needed to determine what level of protection these antibodies may provide to the baby.

If you would like to speak to someone about COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy, please contact MotherToBaby. MotherToBaby experts are available to answer questions in English or Spanish by phone or chat. The free and confidential service is available Monday–Friday 8am–5pm (local time). To reach MotherToBaby:

  • Call 1-866-626-6847
  • Chat live or send an email MotherToBaby

Additional Resources:

Last Updated 03/17/2022 - 14:00

People who are identified as close contacts should follow CDC guidelines to protect themselves and others. People who have come into close contact with persons diagnosed with COVID-19 should follow the recommendations outlined on the COVID-19 Quarantine and Isolation web page.

All close contacts should monitor for COVID-19 symptoms and promptly get tested and isolate away from others if symptoms develop. People with symptoms of COVID-19 should seek emergency medical care immediately if they develop emergency warning signs.

For more information about testing, visit the CDC testing webpage

Last Updated 04/27/2022 - 13:58

The following are acceptable as proof of full vaccination: Vaccination card (which includes name of person vaccinated, type of vaccine provided and date last dose administered) OR a photo of a vaccination card as a separate document OR a photo of the attendee’s vaccine card stored on a phone or electronic device OR documentation of vaccination from a healthcare provider or CAIR (California Immunization Registry).

Last Updated 06/29/2021 - 16:29

People with COVID-19 who have symptoms should wait to be vaccinated until they have recovered from their illness and have met the criteria for discontinuing isolation; those without symptoms should also wait until they meet the criteria before getting vaccinated. This guidance also applies to people who get COVID-19 before getting their second dose of vaccine.

People who have had a known COVID-19 exposure should not seek vaccination until their quarantine period has ended to avoid potentially exposing healthcare personnel and others during the vaccination visit. This recommendation also applies to people with a known COVID-19 exposure who have received their first dose of an mRNA vaccine but not their second.


Source: CDC FAQs

Last Updated 02/24/2022 - 15:33

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness that can spread from person-to-person. The virus that causes COVID-19 is a novel coronavirus, meaning that is has not been previously identified so people have no immunity to it.   


Last Updated 07/02/2021 - 15:30

Pregnant and recently pregnant people, and those who live with or visit them, need to take steps to protect themselves from getting sick with COVID-19To learn how to protect yourself and your baby, visit the CDC webpages for COVID-19 Vaccines While Pregnant or Breastfeeding and CDC Breastfeeding and Caring for Newborns if You Have COVID-19.


Additional Resources:

Last Updated 03/17/2022 - 14:20

From the start of the pandemic, the federal government (under the umbrella of Operation Warp Speed) worked diligently to make a COVID-19 vaccine available as soon as possible. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) carefully reviewed all safety data from clinical trials and authorized the emergency vaccine use (EUA) after determining the expected benefits of the vaccine outweigh potential risks.

All COVID-19 vaccines approved or authorized for emergency use in the US were tested in large clinical trials to ensure they meet safety standards. Over 30,000 people participated in each trial in order to determine how the vaccines offer protection to people of different ages, races, and ethnicities, as well as those with different medical conditions. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) reviewed all safety data before recommending each COVID-19 vaccine for use. (Learn how ACIP makes vaccine recommendations.) The FDA and CDC are continuing to monitor the safety of COVID-19 vaccines, to make sure even very rare side effects are identified.

Washington, Oregon and Nevada joined California’s COVID-19 Scientific Safety Review Workgroup in October 2020, becoming the Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup (WSSSRW). This workgroup is made up of nationally-acclaimed scientists with expertise in immunization and public health, and has concurrently and independently reviewed the FDA’s actions related to COVID-19 vaccines, providing recommendations to California leadership around vaccine planning efforts as well as ensuring public confidence in vaccine safety, efficacy, and implementation efforts. The WSSSRW will continue to evaluate other COVID-19 vaccines as they go through the federal approval process.

Additionally, there are several safety monitoring systems set up in the US, including:

These safety monitoring systems provide methods for checking in with vaccine recipients after vaccination and allow participants to report any side effects or health problems experienced after COVID-19 vaccination.

Learn more about the COVID-19 Vaccine in Marin County on our vaccine information webpage. Visit the CDC's Developing COVID-19 Vaccine webpage to find out more about how these vaccines were developed.

Last Updated 03/22/2022 - 15:31

Presently, there is no local masking mandate in Marin County, however, California masking requirements remain in effect. Learn more about the Guidance for the Use of Face Masks in California by visiting the California Department of Public Health's webpage. 

Guidance Based on Setting

Everyone is required to wear a mask in the following indoor public spaces, regardless of their vaccination status:
  • Health care settings 
  • Long-term care facilities  
  • Homeless shelters  
  • Emergency cooling / heating centers
  • State and local correctional facilities and detention centers 

Read Get the Most out of Masking to learn how a mask can best protect you.

Last Updated 04/27/2022 - 14:43

Yes, blood banks, blood donation centers, and blood drives are available. If you are healthy and do not have COVID-19 symptoms, you are encouraged to donate. The need for adequate blood donations from healthy people is critical. The pandemic has negatively impacted blood supply, so donations are welcomed. 

Last Updated 03/17/2022 - 17:01

Novel simply means new, so novel coronavirus is the new virus from the coronavirus family. The official name of the virus is Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) but that name is rarely used.

COVID-19 is the disease caused by the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2.

Source: World Health Organization

Last Updated 07/02/2021 - 16:55

Information and Assistance - for older adults, persons with disabilities, and family caregivers: 415-473-INFO (415-473-4636). 

Last Updated 07/06/2021 - 14:53

Most people experience only mild side effects after being vaccinated. Your arm may be sore, red, or warm to the touch. These symptoms usually go away on their own  in less than 72 hours. Some people report getting a headache or fever when getting a vaccine. These side effects are a sign that your immune system is doing exactly what it is supposed to do. It is working and building up protection for the disease.

Learn more about the COVID-19 vaccination side effects, including tips on how to relieve side effects, visit the CDC's Possible Side Effects After Getting a COVID-19 Vaccine webpage.

Last Updated 03/22/2022 - 15:46

When you receive your vaccination card, its strongly recommended you take a photo of the card, make a paper or electronic copy of the card, or scan and save the card in a cloud-based environment.  Your COVID-19 immunization card is important for access to travel and event opportunities while the COVID-19 pandemic is still underway.

However, we know life happens and you may lose your card. The California Department of Public Health offers a new Digital COVID-19 vaccine record, available at can use this tool to request a digital copy of your COVID-19 vaccine record.

For more information about the Digital COVID-19 Vaccine Record, visit

See errors in your vaccine record? You can also correct or update your immunization record at


Last Updated 07/06/2021 - 14:49

There are a number of factors that determine how serious a disease is:  

  • R0 Number an estimate of how many people will be infected by a person with the disease 

  • Incubation Timethe time from when a person was exposed to the disease and when they first show symptoms.  People can still transmit the disease to others during this time without even knowing they are sick. 

  • Hospitalization Rate: the percentage of people with the disease who will have severe illness that requires hospitalization.  

  • Case Fatality Rate: the percent of people with the disease who will die of it.  

To understand how serious COVID-19 is, it can be helpful to compare it to seasonal flu based on what we currently know about COVID-19:  




RO Number 


2 – 2.5 

Incubation Time 

1-4 days 

1 – 14 days 

Hospitalization Rate 



Case Fatality Rate 

.1% or less 

1 – 3.4% 

Sources:  CDC, WHO, NCBI 

Last Updated 02/17/2022 - 11:49

The following Health (Medical) Clinics are seeing patients. We advise scheduling an appointment in advance because services may continue to be provided on a limited basis due to COVID-19 protocols.

  • The Ritter Center
    • The Ritter Center Case Management department is operating with a new workflow and limited on-campus services, aimed to keep clients and staff safe to continue to provide the community with excellent health care during this public health emergency.

      For non-urgent matters that can be addressed via phone visits please call the Case Management Department at 415-457-8182 ext. 130

  • Marin City Health and Wellness Center
    • To address your health questions or schedule an appointment, call 415-339-8813 Monday - Friday: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Marin Community Clinics
    • 415-448-1500
Last Updated 02/24/2022 - 11:41

COVID-19 vaccines have been tested in large clinical trials (>30,000 participants) to assess their safety, a core analytical measure when studying all vaccines. However, it does take time and more people getting vaccinated before we learn about very rare or long-term side effects. That is why safety monitoring will continue. CDC has an independent group of experts that reviews all the safety data as it comes in and provides regular safety updates. If a safety issue is detected, immediate action will take place to determine if the issue is related to the COVID-19 vaccine and determine the best course of action. Getting the vaccine is still the safer choice than the serious risk of COVID-19 infection. 

To ensure the COVID-19 vaccine meets safety requirements, California formed a Scientific Safety Review Work Group comprised of nationally recognized immunization, public health, academic and other subject matter experts. The work group is staying abreast of vaccine candidate(s) trials, evidence of safety and efficacy, and other information to independently provide recommendations to California leadership and vaccine planning efforts as well as ensure public confidence in vaccine safety, efficacy, and implementation efforts.


Learn more about the COVID-19 Vaccine in Marin County on our vaccine information webpage.

Last Updated 07/06/2021 - 14:25

Presently, there is no local masking mandate in Marin County, however California masking requirements remain in effect. Both Marin County Public Health and California Department of Public Health strongly encourage the use of masks indoors, especially for our residents who are more vulnerable to infection or more at risk of severe outcomes from COVID-19. 

In settings where masks are strongly recommended, businesses, venue operators, or hosts may:

  • Provide information to all patrons, guests, and attendees regarding masking recommendations for all persons, independent of their vaccination status. 
  • Provide information to all patrons, guests and attendees to consider better fit and filtration for masks. Surgical masks or higher-level respirators (e.g., N95s, KN95s, KF94s) with good fit are recommended over cloth masks].
  • Require all patrons to wear masks, especially when risk in the community may be high, or if those being served are at high risk for severe disease or illness.
  • Require every attendee who does not provide proof of vaccination upon entering indoor Mega Events to continue masking during the event, especially when not actively eating or drinking. 

No person can be prevented from wearing a mask as a condition of participation in an activity or entry into a business.

Visit the CDPH Guidance for Face Coverings webpage for additional information.


Last Updated 03/15/2022 - 14:15

The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet). This occurs through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.  This is similar to how influenza and other respiratory pathogens spread.

It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, however this is not the main way the virus spreads. People are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic (the sickest).  People can also be contagious before they show symptoms.

The best way to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is to:

  • Frequently wash your hands for at least 20 seconds
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces – particularly those that people frequently touch
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a face covering according to current state and local face covering guidance
  • Remember to cover your cough or sneeze, then throw away used tissues and wash your hands
  • Isolate yourself if you have symptoms or were in close contact with a person who has COVID-19.

Source:  CDC

Last Updated 02/24/2022 - 16:20

COVID-19 Stigma

Stigma is associated with a lack of knowledge about how COVID-19 spreads, a need to blame someone, fears about disease and death, and gossip that spreads rumors and myths. Often, stigma arises when people become worried or anxious. As a result, they sometimes look for reasons they believe cause their worries. For example, during the pandemic, there have been ongoing reports of stigma towards Chinese and other Asian Americans. Some people in the U.S. may have been concerned about people who were living in, or visiting areas where outbreaks had occurred. Others may have reacted negatively towards those who needed to be in quarantine or isolation. 

Stopping the Stigma of Covid-19

Stigma hurts everyone by creating more fear or anger towards ordinary people instead of the disease that is causing the problem.  In order to combat stigma, learn the facts about COVID-19 and what you can do to protect yourself and your loved ones.

People can fight stigma and help, not hurt, others by providing social support. Counter stigma by learning and sharing facts. Communicating the facts that viruses do not target specific racial or ethnic groups and how COVID-19 actually spreads can help stop stigma. 

Being aware of our intentions when speaking about COVID-19, promoting thoughtful communication, and practicing empathy are keys to reducing social stigma. 

Stigma Towards Masking and Vaccinations

As the pandemic response has progressed there has been a stigma towards those who did not want to wear masks and who don't want to get vaccinated. Marin is aligned with the state's guidelines around masking rules. People have a choice to wear masks or not wear masks, depending on their vaccination status, except in certain public indoor spaces where everyone is required to mask. There still exists stigma towards those who choose to wear masks even in spaces where it's not required and also against those who refuse their use. Additionally, there exists a myriad of perspectives towards receiving a COVID-19 vaccine. We can stop this stigma by offering support for each person's choice, becoming more informed about masking/vaccination facts, and making an effort to understand why people feel the way they do. Offering empathy towards those around us and being aware that each individual's pandemic experience has been unique can help create bridges with those who have differing perspectives. 

Please visit the CDC website for more information on how to stop stigma related to COVID-19.

Source:  adapted from

Last Updated 02/24/2022 - 11:59

Yes. The vaccines are safe for children ages 6 months and older. Clinical trials were conducted with thousands of children and no serious safety concerns were identified.

Before recommending COVID-19 vaccination for children, scientists conducted clinical trials. The FDA has given emergency use authorization to both Pfizer and Moderna vaccines to use in children 6 months and older.  The CDC's Advisory Committee and Immunization Practices and the Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup recommend both vaccines for children 6 months and older.  Learn more about the process of developing, authorizing, and approving COVID-19 vaccines.

Based on clinical trial data, children may have some side effects from COVID-19 vaccination, which are similar to what adults have experienced and the side effects that many children experience after routine vaccinations. These side effects are normal signs that their body is building protection and may affect your child’s ability to do daily activities, and should go away within a few days. Some children will not have side effects. Serious side effects are rare but may occur.

The benefits of COVID-19 vaccination outweigh the known and potential risks.


Last Updated 05/19/2023 - 13:42

If the record you received is inaccurate or incomplete, you may need to correct or update your immunization record. Please contact your provider or request a review and update of your record by submitting the Troubleshooting Form. You may be contacted for additional information. You will be notified of findings and remediation actions within 2-3 weeks. Once the process is completed and your record updated, you can access it through the DCVR Portal (Digital COVID-19 Vaccine Record Portal).

You can find troubleshooting tips at or call 833-422-4255.

Last Updated 07/06/2021 - 15:02

A comprehensive glossary of public health and epidemiology terms can be found at the Kaiser Family Foundation’s website.

Last Updated 07/02/2021 - 16:38

We understand the devastating economic impacts of COVID-19 on our community.

Below are some other resources available for you and your family:

Marin Health and Human Services (HHS) Public Assistance Programs:
  • CalWORKS: Cash assistance for food purchases for families and individuals;
  • Medi-Cal: medical care through Medi-Cal and County Medical Services Program;
  • General Relief: Cash Assistance for individuals over 18 with no children and with no or limited resources;
  • Women, Infants and Children (WIC): supplemental food and nutrition program low-income pregnant, breastfeeding, and postpartum women and children under age 5 who have a nutritional risk.
  • For information on resources and services specifically for older adults (persons 60+), persons with disabilities and family caregivers, call (415) 473-INFO (415.473.4636) or email sends e-mail).
To apply for Medi-Cal, CalWORKs, CalFresh, and WIC you can:
  • Call 1.877.410.8817;
  • Apply online at; or
  • Pick up a paper application in person outside at 120 N. Redwood Dr. San Rafael, CA and at the Marin County Health and Wellness Center, 3240 Kerner Blvd. San Rafael, CA 94901. Spanish and English copies are both available.
  • WIC applications are accepted over the phone by calling 415.473.6889. General Relief applications can be obtained at the locations noted above or by calling 415.473.3350. Also visit HHS’ online Community Resource Guide, for local information on programs/services available to help with money, legal, housing and more. Lastly, if you are at risk of or currently experiencing homelessness, visit Homelessness Resource Guide, which includes a comprehensive list of resources. Residents can search for their nearest food pantry or emergency food distribution location using San Francisco-Marin Food Bank’s Food Locator App. For those that cannot access the app, information on food resources for older adults (age 60+) and persons with disabilities can be obtained by email or by calling 415.473.INFO (415.473.4636). All others can call 211 to get connected to this information.
Last Updated 03/17/2022 - 16:31

Yes, you should be vaccinated regardless of whether you already had COVID-19. That’s because experts do not yet know how long you are protected from getting sick again after recovering from COVID-19. Even if you have already recovered from COVID-19, it is possible—although rare—that you could be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 again. Learn more about why getting vaccinated is a safer way to build protection than getting infected.

Learn more about the COVID-19 Vaccine in Marin County on our vaccine information webpage.

Last Updated 07/06/2021 - 14:27

The CDC recommends that everyone stay up-to-date on COVID-19 vaccines including boosters before traveling. 

For more information regarding both domestic and international travel, please visit our travel page and the CDC travel page.


Last Updated 03/06/2023 - 09:16

If you develop emergency warning signs for COVID-19 get medical attention immediately. Emergency warning signs include*:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion or inability to arouse
  • Bluish lips or face

*This list is not all-inclusive. Please consult your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning.


Last Updated 07/06/2021 - 14:59

Marin Public Health's team of "contact investigators" have played a crucial role in the COVID-19 response. This practice is commonly referred to as contact tracing.

The video below from Marin's Public Health Officer provides additional information about how contact tracing works and why it has been important to our pandemic response.

Report the Result of your At-Home / Self-Test

The process of contact tracing is more effective when test results are reported as soon as possible. An online form has been developed to be used for reporting the results of COVID-19 testing done in the home to the Marin County Public Health Department. Reporting your test result -- whether positive, negative or inconclusive -- helps Marin County Public Health track the virus around our community to inform our response.  Reporting is confidential and takes only a few minutes. Please do not complete this form if you received testing at a healthcare or testing site, only report testing you did yourself at home. 


Last Updated 02/24/2022 - 16:05

No. A flu vaccine will not protect you from getting COVID-19, but it can prevent you from getting influenza (flu) at the same time as COVID-19. This can keep you from having a more severe illness. Also, since flu and COVID-19 symptoms can be similar, being vaccinated for the flu will help you stay healthy and reduces your chance of experiencing severe flu symptoms, helping to lower the impact of flu-related hospitalizations in our local health care system. That means that getting a flu vaccine is more important than ever.


Learn more about the COVID-19 Vaccine in Marin County on our vaccine information webpage.

Last Updated 07/06/2021 - 14:26

Ways of Coping with Stress and Improving Mental Health

Since the beginning of Covid-19, we have all faced challenges that were unknown to us and our generation. The effects of the pandemic have abounded and impacted our mental health. Stress, discomfort, sadness, and anxiety are common feelings we all have shared as a result of such an impactful event. Remember that these feelings are natural and that you are not alone.

It is important that we cope with stress in a healthy way and there are numerous startegies to accomplish this goal:

  • Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories
  • Care for our bodies (meditation, healthy eating, regular exercise, healthy sleep habits, avoid excessive alcohol, tobacco, or substance use, routine preventive measures (vaccinations, cancer screenings, or directions from your healthcare provider), and getting a Covid-19 vaccine)
  • Dedicating time to unwind (hobbies, reading, listening to your favorite music)
  • Connecting with loved ones and friends (Share your concerns and feelings with those you care about)
  • Connecting with organizations in your community (volunteer groups, faith-based groups, clubs of people with similar interests)

Mental Health Resources for Those Experiencing Distress

If you feel that you need extra support for emotional support & mental health, these resources are available to help people who may be experiencing distress or heightened anxiety right now:

24/7 Behavioral Health Recovery Services Access Line: (888) 818-1115

  • 24/7 Crisis Stabilization Unit: (415) 473-6666
  • 24/7 National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: (800) 273-8255;
    Linea Nacional de Prevención del Suicidio (en Espanol): (888) 628-9454
  • If you are experiencing an emergency please call 911 immediately
  • Disaster Distress Helpline: Call 1-800-985-5990 (TTY 800-846-8517) or text TalkWithUs to 66746 for 24/7 support.
  • Crisis Text Line: Text HOME to 741741 for 24/7 crisis support.
  • California Suicide & Crisis Hotlines: Find phone numbers and links to all the suicide and crisis hotlines by county in California.
  • California Peer-Run Warm Line: Call 1-855-845-7415 for 24/7 non-emergency support.
  • The Friendship Line is available 24/7 as a crisis helpline for older adults: 800-971-0016 or you can text HOME to 741741 if you are feeling depressed, sad, or going through any kind of emotional crisis. A crisis worker will text you back immediately if you prefer text over the phone. This is a free service.
  • Mobile Crisis Team: (415) 473-6392

Please visit the CDC website for more information on how to cope with stress related to COVID-19.

Source:  adapted from

Last Updated 07/14/2021 - 12:08

About Coronavirus

People may be sick infected with the virus for 1 to 14 days before developing symptoms. The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are:

  • fever
  • tiredness
  • dry cough
  • shortness of breath

Most people (about 80%) recover from the disease without needing special treatment. However, if you develop emergency warning signs for COVID-19 seek immediate medical attention. Emergency warning signs include*:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion or inability to arouse
  • Bluish lips or face

*This list is not all inclusive. Please consult your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning. 

CDC, World Health Organization

Last Updated 02/17/2022 - 11:21

Coronavirus in Marin

Visit the CDC travel webpage ( to find up to date information about what is required for international travel for:

California currently has no travel requirements or restrictions, but strongly recommends compliance with CDC travel guidelines (above) for testing, masking, and quarantine.

Visit our testing page to find information on where to get tested.

Visit our travel page to learn about more international travel guidelines and how to stay safe while traveling. 

Last Updated 03/06/2023 - 09:18

Shelter in Place

Any business, including food facilities, should review the United States Department of Labor’s, Occupational Safety and Health Administration Coronavirus Resources for Healthcare along with updated guidance for mitigating and preventing the spread of COVID-19 in all industries.

Last Updated 07/06/2021 - 14:49

Most people will have minor symptoms and should:

  • call their healthcare provider for advice
  • stay at home
  • isolate from others, including household members

If you develop emergency warning signs, such as difficulty breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion or inability to arouse, or bluish lips or face, seek medical attention immediately.

Source:  Marin HHS

Last Updated 02/17/2022 - 11:10

Yes. In response to increased vaccination rates (including boosters), visitation guidance has changed.

In an ongoing effort to ensure resident safety, and to minimize the spread of COVID-19 among vulnerable individuals, CDPH is requiring SNFs to develop and implement processes for verifying the vaccination status of all visitors seeking indoor visitation, and for obtaining and tracking documentation of SARS-CoV-2 diagnostic test of all unvaccinated visitors. In compliance with the Public Health Order issued February 7, 2022, beginning February 8, 2022, SNFs must verify visitors have completed an initial vaccination series or have provided evidence of a negative SARS-CoV-2 test within one day of visitation for antigen tests, and within two days of visitation for PCR tests for indoor visitation. Visitors that are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated or are unable to show a negative SARS-CoV-2 test may only have an outdoor visit.  

Visit the CDPH website to read the full guidance for visitation requirements in these settings.

Last Updated 05/25/2022 - 08:28

COVID-19 Testing

Everyone who tests positive, regardless of vaccination status, must isolate for a minimum of 5 days.  Those with symptoms may need to isolate longer.

Follow these steps to protect yourself and your loved ones:

  • Stay home for at least 5 days.
  • Isolation can end on day 5 if symptoms are not present or resolving AND a test collected on day 5 or later is negative.
    • If no test is taken, isolation can end on day 10 if symptoms are not present or resolving.
    • If fever is present, isolation should continue until fever resolves.
    • If symptoms other than fever are present, continue to isolate until they are resolving OR until after day 10.
  • Wear a well-fitting mask around others for a total of 10 days (from date of positive test result or when symptoms began), especially in indoor settings.

Isolation Calendars


Day 0 is your first day of symptoms or the day of your positive test (if you are asymptomatic). Day 1 is the first full day after symptoms develop, or the first full day after your positive test if you do not experience symptoms. Isolation is a minimum five full days, and may extend depending on result of test on Day 5 or later.  This means you could leave your house as early as Day 6. Still unsure? Use this isolation and quarantine calculator.

Please read the CDC Quarantine and Isolation webpage for more information and practical tips.

Source: CDC

Last Updated 02/24/2022 - 14:23

As defined by the CDC, a Person Under Investigation (PUI) is any person currently under investigation for having the virus that causes COVID-19. A PUI should be directed to COVID testing and quarantine under the guidance of their health care professional or Marin Public Health.

Source:  CDC, Marin HHS

Last Updated 02/22/2022 - 16:19

Many providers, such as CVS and Walgreens, provide testing for free or a small fee. 

For more information or locations, visit our Testing page for more information. 



Last Updated 07/06/2021 - 14:44