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Marin County proclaims local health emergency amid coronavirus outbreak

Bay Area

MARIN COUNTY, Calif. (KRON) — Marin County is taking steps to proclaim a local health emergency to prepare for the novel coronavirus that has raised concerns worldwide.

While there haven’t been any cases of COVID-19 in Marin County, the county wanted to take precautionary action to be able to better respond and prepare.

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“This declaration is about preparedness. Our COVID-19 preparation is bringing together partners from across the community, in public health, first responders, our hospitals and healthcare workers, our schools and businesses,” Dr. Matt Willis, Marina County Public Health Officer, said. “As we allocated more resources to protect residents, this will help ensure we have the support we need.”

Additionally, the Marin County Board of Supervisors will consider a local state of emergency proclamation. This would allow the county to exercise authority to protect lives and property, and be eligible to receive reimbursement for costs spent because of the virus threat.

Health officials cite a concern for potential impact in Marin County.

“Nearly one [in] three Marin residents is over age 60. It’s especially important to protect our seniors from infection,” Dr. Lisa Santora, Deputy Public Health Officer, said. “Older adults and those with other existing medical vulnerabilities are at the greatest risk for severe disease if infected with COVID-19.”

The best way to reduce the risk of becoming infected with a respiratory virus, whether the flu or COVID-19, is to practice good hygiene:

  • 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;
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick;
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe;
  • Get your flu shot to protect against flu.

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