First COVID-19 Death in Marin

Marin Announces First COVID-19 Death

Public Health Officials Push for Continued Vigilance, Shelter-In-Place by Residents

San Rafael, CA – Marin County has recorded its first death related to the novel coronavirus called COVID-19.

The person who passed away was an adult man in his 70s and had been hospitalized for nearly three weeks.  On March 9, he was reported as the first case of COVID-19 in a Marin County resident having been exposed to the virus as a passenger on the Grand Princess – Mexican Riviera cruise ship that returned to San Francisco on February 21.  The patient died on the afternoon of March 27, 2020.

“This is a heartbreaking development in our work to limit the impact of COVID-19 locally,” said Dr. Lisa Santora, Marin’s Deputy Health Officer. “This unfortunate death further shows how serious this virus is and how necessary it is for our community to continue to shelter in place and take bold measures to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in Marin.

The Marin County Public Health Division staff is working closely with local hospital personnel, the CDC, and the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) to monitor residents who have confirmed cases of COVID-19 and coordinate the testing and monitoring of patients.  Marin HHS estimates nearly 700 individuals have been tested at its field-testing site, in addition to testing efforts conducted by hospitals and medical facilities.

The individual was among Marin’s eldest confirmed COVID-19 cases, highlighting the particular vulnerability for more serious disease among older residents.

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

  • Abide by the current shelter in place order, limiting activity to only essential needs. When completing essential activity, keep your distance from others, especially anyone showing symptoms of a cold;
  • 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;
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe;

Marin HHS is updating its COVID-19 webpage often to provide localized periodic updates. In addition, individuals with COVID-19 related questions can call 415-473-7191, Monday-Friday from 9:30am to 12:00pm and from 1:00pm to 5:00pm.

Melanie Nathan
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