County of Marin - News Releases - Coronavirus Update

For Immediate Release
January 29, 2020

Public Health Monitors Novel Coronavirus Outbreak

No cases reported in Marin and local risk remains low

San Rafael, CAMarin County Public Health officials are working closely with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), California Department of Public Health (CDPH), and Bay Area health officials to monitor the novel (new) coronavirus, which originated in Wuhan City, China. To date, there are no cases reported in Marin County.

Marin Health and Human Services logo
As of January 29, five novel coronavirus cases had been confirmed in the United States. Two cases have been reported in Southern California and both people had traveled in China recently. Cases among travelers from China have been confirmed in several countries. The CDC is monitoring for illness among travelers arriving from China at 20 U.S airports.

“Our health care providers and community partners are prepared in case anyone in the community becomes ill with this new virus,” said Dr. Matt Willis, Marin County Health Officer. “With no coronavirus cases in the region, the risk is low at this time, but we’re ready. It’s important to remember that we’re at much higher risk for influenza, which can also be serious and is preventable with vaccination.”

Coronaviruses are a large group of viruses that are common among animals and humans. In rare cases, animal coronaviruses can be transmitted to humans. The newly discovered coronavirus (2019-nCov) has not been previously detected in animals or humans. The source of 2019-nCov is not yet known. Person-to-person spread of 2019-nCov is currently occurring and it is likely there will be more cases reported in the U.S. in the coming days and weeks.

Symptoms of Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)

Symptoms are very similar to the flu, including headache, cough, sore throat, fever, or shortness of breath. More severe cases may result in pneumonia. Older adults and people with underlying health conditions may be at increased risk for severe disease.

Anyone who has recently traveled from China or has been in close contact with an ill individual who traveled from China, and develops a fever, cough or shortness of should contact their health care provider. Ill individuals are advised to share travel history and symptoms before visiting the clinic or emergency room.

Travel Health Notice for China

The CDC recommends that travelers avoid all nonessential travel to China. Chinese health officials have reported thousands of cases in China with severe illness, including more than 130 deaths.

Tips to Protect Yourself and Others

No additional precautions are recommended at this time beyond the steps we normally take to prevent infections, such as:

  • Washing hands with liquid soap and water, and rubbing for at least 20 seconds;
  • Covering your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing; and
  • Staying home if you are sick.

Since flu activity continues to remain high during this flu season, and symptoms of coronavirus are similar to the flu, Marin Public Health also recommends getting a flu shot to protect yourself and others from the flu.

This is an emerging, rapidly evolving situation, and the information contained in this press release may change quickly. Marin County Public Health and the CDC will provide updated information as it becomes available.

For the latest updates, visit Marin HHS’ webpage on the coronavirus or go to the CDC 2019 Novel Coronavirus website.


Dr. Matthew Willis
Public Health Officer
Health and Human Services

3240 Kerner Blvd.
San Rafael, CA 94901
(415) 473-4163
Email: Dr. Matthew Willis
Marin HHS website