For Immediate ReleaseMarch 07, 2020
Public Health staff offers phone service starting Monday, March 9
San Rafael, CA – Marin County Public Health has created a telephone hotline for residents to call with questions or concerns related to the novel coronavirus called COVID-19. Staff and Marin Medical Reserve Corps volunteers will take calls starting Monday, March 9, at 415-473-7191.
The center is designed to provide callers with trusted information related to COVID-19. Callers with medical questions will be referred to their health care provider and the website for U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The call center will be open from 9:30 a.m. to noon and 1 to 5 p.m. weekdays, and a three-way phone line will be used to assist non-English speakers. Recorded information is available at that number all other times of the day. Most of the questions coming into Public Health the past few days are already answered on the County’s coronavirus webpage.
“We are so thankful that we have trained professionals from the Marin Medical Reserve Corps are ready to jump in and help,” said Dr. Lisa Santora, Deputy Public Health Officer. “The public health workforce has been hard at work, and it is time to expand what we can do.”
As of March 7, no Marin County residents had tested positive for COVID-19, although some patients are being tested based on travel history. Public Health is monitoring travelers returning from China, Japan, and Iran, and working with local health care providers to assess patients at risk and prepare for potential disease spread. Travelers returning from Italy and South Korea are being instructed to stay home for 14 days after returning to the United States and practice social distancing.
A community meeting about COVID-19 is taking place at 6 p.m. March 9 at the Marin County Office of Education in San Rafael, and residents are encouraged to watch the meeting live on Facebook. The panel of experts will include Dr. Matt Willis, Marin County Public Health Officer.
On March 3, the County of Marin proclaimed a local state of emergency and the Marin County Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) proclaimed a public health emergency as COVID-19 continued its worldwide spread. Following the State of California’s own emergency declaration, the County’s two proclamations makes it eligible for reimbursement for costs associated with the health emergency. The Marin County Board of Supervisors is expected to ratify both documents at its March 10 regular meeting. Several other Bay Area counties have made similar proclamations.
The County opened its Emergency Operations Center on March 6 to monitor news about the virus’ progress, coordinate resources, and prepare and distribute public messaging.
Marin County Public Health passes along these reminders about COVID-19:
· Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or sleeve when sneezing or coughing and do not use your hands.
· Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
· Do not touch your face with unwashed hands.
· Stay home if you are not feeling well.
· Contact your healthcare provider and share any travel history if you are not feeling well.
General information about the novel coronavirus is available at www.cdc.gov and www.marinHHS.org/coronavirus. Questions may be emailed, although staff recommends checking web resources first.
Laine HendricksPublic Information OfficerCounty Administrator's Office
3501 Civic Center DriveSuite #325San Rafael, CA 94903(415) 473-7496Email: Laine HendricksCounty Administrator website