County of Marin - News Releases - COVID-19 Case Update

For Immediate Release
March 14, 2020

Marin Confirms Community Transmission of COVID-19

Case count up to 5; New data confirms necessity of preventative actions

San Rafael, CA – The Marin County Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has received confirmation that two additional Marin residents have tested positive for COVID-19, the novel coronavirus.  This brings Marin’s COVID-19 case count to five. The two new cases had no known exposures to other cases, and are believed to be a result of community spread.

 “The first cases of community transmission of COVID-19 in Marin means we’re in a new stage of working to mitigate spread,” said Dr. Matt Willis, Marin County Public Health Officer. “We’ve been anticipating this. This is why we took big steps this week, including limiting large gatherings and closing classrooms.”

Neither of the individuals are hospitalized but are quarantined at home until they are no longer infectious. Marin HHS will not release information about the patients to protect their medical privacy.

The two newly confirmed cases were tested at Marin’s field-testing site, which launched earlier this week to help enhance testing capacity countywide. Until this week, the lack of federal testing supply has made it challenging to measure local incidence of disease. Individuals referred by their physicians who may be at risk for COVID-19 infection can complete drive-through testing without having to get out of their vehicle. 

The best way for the public to further stop the spread of germs in our community is to practice the following steps:

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially before eating, after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing;
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer when soap and water is not available;
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue or crook of your elbow (not your hands).If you use a tissue, throw it away and wash your hands afterward;
  • Avoid touching your face;
  • Stay home from work or school if you have a fever or are feeling sick;
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe;
  • Keep your distance from others and avoid close contact with people who are sick;
  • Avoid crowded places and limit activities in public;
  • Consider “touch-free” greeting alternatives to handshakes and hugs
  • Avoid unnecessary travel;
  • Get your flu shot to protect against flu.

Visit the official Marin County Coronavirus webpage (MarinHHS.org/coronavirus) to review answers to frequently asked questions or subscribe to receive email updates. In addition, individuals can contact Marin HHS with non-medical COVID-19 questions by calling a dedicated information call center at 415-473-7191 or by email. 

Contact:

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