HEALTH OFFICER ORDER FOR THE CONTROL OF COVID-19
Public Health Emergency Isolation Order
Date Order Issued: May 20, 2020
This Order is in effect until rescinded in writing by the Health Officer.
SUMMARY OF THE ORDER
California is in a State of Emergency because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The spread of Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a substantial danger to the health of the public within the County of Marin. COVID-19 can easily spread between people who are in close contact with one another. This Order is issued based on scientific evidence and best practices as currently known and available to protect vulnerable members of the public from avoidable risk of serious illness or death resulting from exposure to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). The age, condition, and health of a significant portion of the population of the County of Marin (“County”) places it at risk for serious health complications, including death, from COVID-19. There is growing evidence of transmission risk from infected persons before the onset of symptoms. Thus, all individuals who contract COVID-19, regardless of their level of symptoms (none, mild or severe), may place other vulnerable members of the public at significant risk. Currently, there is no vaccine available to protect against COVID-19 and no specific treatment.
To help slow COVID-19’s spread, protect vulnerable individuals, and prevent the healthcare system in the County of Marin from being overwhelmed, it is necessary for the Marin County Public Health Department (“Public Health”) to isolate persons with COVID-19. This Order increases the period of isolation and updates the description of close contacts to include all persons who have been within six feet of the person diagnosed with COVID-19 during the infectious period as defined.
UNDER THE AUTHORITY OF THE CALIFORNIA HEALTH AND
SAFETY CODE SECTIONS 101040, 101085, AND 120175,
THE COUNTY OF MARIN HEALTH OFFICER ORDERS:
All individuals who have been diagnosed with or are likely to have COVID-19 must isolate themselves. These persons are required to follow all instructions in this Order and the Public Health guidance documents referenced in this Order.
Violation of this Order is a crime, punishable by a fine of up to $10,000 and/or a year in jail. (Health & Saf. Code §§ 120295 et seq.; Cal. Penal Code §§ 69 & 148)
Isolation Requirements for Individuals Diagnosed with or Likely to have COVID-19:
- All individuals who have been diagnosed with or are likely to have COVID-19 must immediately take the following actions:
- Isolate themselves in their home or another residence. They may not leave their place of isolation or enter any other public or private place, except to receive necessary medical care.
- Carefully review and closely follow all requirements listed in the “COVID-19 Guidance: At Home Quarantine & Isolation Safety” posted at https://coronavirus.marinhhs.org/file/82 and attached to this order
- Tell their close contacts that they need to quarantine themselves. Close contacts who should be notified to self-quarantine are people who were with them during their infectious period. The infectious period starts from 48 hours before symptoms began (or the date of the positive test if no symptoms) and ends when the isolation period is over (see Section C below). Close contacts are persons who:
- Live in or have stayed at their residence OR
- Are intimate sexual partners OR
- Provide or provided care to them without wearing a mask, gown, and gloves OR
- Someone who was within six feet of an infected person for 15 minutes or longer
- Refer them to the “COVID-19 Guidance: At Home Quarantine & Isolation Safety” posted at https://coronavirus.marinhhs.org/file/82, which describe steps that household contacts, intimate partners, and caregivers must take to prevent spread of COVID-19. Close contacts have likely been exposed to COVID-19 and if infected, can easily spread COVID-19 to others, even if they have only mild symptoms.
- Individuals are required to isolate themselves because they have or are likely to have COVID-19.
This determination is based on one or more of the following factors:
- A positive lab test for the coronavirus (known as SARS-CoV-2) that causes COVID-19
- Signs and symptoms that are consistent with COVID-19 within 14 days of being in close contact with a person who had or was believed to have had COVID-19 OR
- A health care provider has informed the individual that they are likely to have COVID-19.
Self-isolation is required because a person infected with or likely to have COVID-19 can easily spread the virus to others. Isolation separates these ill individuals from others to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
- Isolated individuals must isolate themselves in a residence and follow all directions in this Order until they are no longer at risk for spreading COVID-19 based on the following criteria:
- At least 1 day (24 hours) have passed since recovery, defined as resolution of both fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and improvement of cough, shortness of breath and other symptoms; AND
- At least 10 days have passed since their symptoms started;
whichever is later.
- Individuals with a positive test who never develop symptoms must isolate for 10 days from date of test.
The Health Officer may take additional action(s), which may include civil detention or requiring one to stay at a health facility or other location, to protect the public’s health if an individual who is subject to this Order violates or fails to comply with this Order. Violation of this Order is also a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment, fine or both.
IT IS SO ORDERED:
Lisa Santora, MD, MPH
Deputy Health Officer of the County of Marin
Dated: May 20, 2020