County of Marin - News Releases - COVID Emergency

For Immediate Release
February 24, 2023

Marin to End COVID-19 Public Health Emergency at End of Month

Both local and State declarations will expire on February 28, 2023

San Rafael, CA – In alignment with the State of California, Marin County will end the local COVID-19 public health emergency that has been in place since March 2020. The local emergency will expire on February 28, the same day that California’s public health emergency will expire. At the Federal level, the national emergency and public health declarations will expire later this spring – on May 11, 2023.

“For Marin residents, the changes to the federal declaration of emergency are the most important because they will eventually impact access to COVID-19 testing, treatment, and vaccination,” said Dr. Lisa Santora, Deputy Public Health Officer for Marin County.

The local COVID-19 emergency declaration was primarily administrative, allowing flexibility in the workforce, the ability to seek and use mutual aid and to obtain financial reimbursement from federal agencies like FEMA.

Most COVID-19 prevention and treatment strategies Marin Public Health offered were federally funded. This included free COVID-19 testing, treatment and vaccinations offered equally to everyone. Public health’s work is to ensure equity in access to and uptake of these lifesaving tools.

Vaccines and Testing

Access to COVID-19 testing, vaccines, and treatment is not changing with the end of the public health emergency on May 11, 2023.  While the end of the national emergency will impact nationwide funding for vaccines and testing, availability, access and costs of COVID-19 vaccines and boosters are determined by federal supply of purchased vaccines, not the federal declaration. Currently, there are stockpiles of these critical tools like at-home tests, vaccines, and treatments. While supply exists, COVID-19 vaccines will remain free to all people, regardless of insurance coverage.

The timing of when people will need to start paying or relying on their healthcare providers for COVID-19 treatments and vaccines is also based on supply. At-home COVID-19 tests, however, may become more expensive for people with insurance. The public health department recommends everyone order four free tests from the federal government before May 11.

Medi-Cal and CalFresh Benefits

The end of California’s pandemic State of Emergency at the end of February will spur two important changes to Medi-Cal health coverage and CalFresh Food benefits.

The pandemic-era law allowing Californians to automatically renew Medi-Cal insurance is ending. This means that patients insured through Medi-Cal will need to re-enroll after March 31, 2023. Medi-Cal recipients can contact Marin Health & Human Services Medi-Cal or call 1-877-410-8817 for more information.

For CalFresh recipients, the monthly benefit amount will decrease beginning in April 2023. Early in the pandemic response, Congress authorized Emergency Allotments to help meet food needs. Since March 2020, households received an increase of at least $95 in CalFresh benefits per month. CalFresh Emergency Allotments benefits will end in February 2023. Visit Marin County and Health Human Services to learn more about these changes to both Medi-Cal and CalFresh.

Status of COVID-19 in Marin County

While the crisis phase is likely over, COVID-19 is still here, and Marin County Public Health will continue to monitor local COVID-19 activity.

As of February 21, there were 16 COVID-19 patients in the hospital. In addition to tracking hospitalizations, Public Health monitors wastewater for local virus activity. Recent activity shows that COVID-19 is still active in Marin. Yet, with vaccines and treatment widely available, cases are less severe, resulting in fewer hospitalizations due to COVID-19.

While the official public health emergency declarations are coming to an end, the Marin County Public Health will remain vigilant and regularly communicate the most up to date COVID-19 information. Together, the Public Health and the community can continue to stay responsive and protect one another as they have over the past three years.


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