County of Marin - News Releases - COVID-19 Patient Transfer

For Immediate Release
February 27, 2020

Coronavirus Patient from Travis Isolated at Local Hospital

Marin assists in regional response to evacuees

San Rafael, CA – The Marin County Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) today confirmed the transfer of one patient with laboratory-confirmed novel coronavirus (COVID-19) from Travis Air Force Base in Solano County to a Marin County hospital. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) agreement with the Department of Defense requires any evacuee who tests positive to be moved from the base. Marin County and other Bay Area counties are accepting the patients to reduce the burden on the Solano County health care system. 

This illustration, created at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reveals ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses. Red spikes that adorn the outer surface of the virus, impart the look of a corona surrounding the virion, when viewed electron microscopically. A novel coronavirus, named Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), was identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China in 2019. The illness caused by this virus has been named coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). (Photo Credit: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

An asymptomatic patient -- meaning the patient does not show symptoms of the virus, such as fever or difficulty breathing -- was transported to a Marin hospital on Wednesday night. The patient who tested positive for COVID-19 is one of the evacuees from the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan. Marin HHS will not release further details about the patient or the hospital to protect the medical privacy of the patient and hospital staff.

The hospital and Marin HHS are working closely with the CDC and the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) to coordinate testing and monitoring. 

“The transfer of this patient into a Marin County hospital should not be a cause for alarm,” said Dr. Matt Willis, Marin County’s Health Officer. "Since January, we have been working closely with local healthcare providers, CDPH and CDC to minimize the impact to our County. Our County’s health system is ready to care for COVID-19 patients.”

The patient was not infected in Marin, and no cases have been identified in Marin. Marin residents are still at low risk of becoming infected with COVID-19. Marin residents who have recently returned from areas with community transmission of coronavirus, such as Italy, are considered low risk and are not being asked to isolate at home. However, if they develop symptoms such as fever, cough or difficulty breathing, they should contact their healthcare provider and inform them of their symptoms and their travel history. Those considering foreign travel should consult the CDC website for the most up-to-date information.

The novel coronavirus, which causes the disease known as COVID-19, is a member of the same family of viruses that causes colds. Treatment is similar to that for other viral infections.

Marin County Public Health encourages everyone to practice good hygiene to reduce your risk of becoming infected with a respiratory virus, such as influenza or COVID-19, which includes:

  1. Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  2. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer when soap and water is not available
  3. Cover your cough or sneeze
  4. Avoid touching your face
  5. Stay home from work or school if you are sick
  6. Get your flu shot to protect against flu
  7. If you have recently returned from a country with ongoing COVID-19 infections, monitor your health and contact your healthcare provider if you develop respiratory symptoms such as fever, cough or shortness of breath.

Health experts agree that the measures taken have been effective in containing the virus but are predicting that there will be community spread of coronavirus in the United States. You can prepare for the possible disruption caused by an outbreak:

  1. Ensure you have adequate supply of essential medicines
  2. Prepare a childcare plan if the childcare is not available (including school closures)
  3. Staying up to date with trusted resources (e.g., CDC)

More Information About Coronavirus (COVID-19):


Dr. Lisa Santora
Deputy Public Health Officer
Health and Human Services

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