60 Coronavirus Cases; Medical Surge Task Force Formed In Marin

Kristina Houck

This article originally appeared on the San Rafael Patch

MARIN COUNTY, CA — Seven additional cases of the new coronavirus were confirmed Wednesday in Marin County, bringing the county's total to 60.

With COVID-19 cases continuing to climb in Marin and across the Bay Area, Marin schools extended the countywide school closure to May 1. Health officers and school superintendents in Marin and five other Bay Area counties announced the unified decision on Wednesday.

"We fully support this very difficult decision," said Dr. Lisa Santora, the county's deputy public health officer. "It is part of a coordinated Bay Area strategy to slow the spread of COVID-19."

In a video message to residents, Santora said she anticipates the county shelter-in-place order will also be extended this week.

"I know it is hard to reconcile national messaging around getting back to work with local orders to shelter in place," Santora said.

"These aggressive containment measures are the best tools to flatten the curve. We are still very early in our epidemic curve and expect to see increases in ER visits and hospitalizations in the days and weeks to come."

To prepare for a surge in ER visits and hospitalizations, the Marin Emergency Operations Center has established a Medical Surge Task Force, which includes Public Health, Emergency Medical Services Agency, Marin Fire and the North Bay Incident Management Team. The task force is operationalizing the county's Healthcare Surge Plan, Medical Health Annex and Pandemic Flu Plan.

The task force is identifying action items and decision points for each level of surge – minor, moderate, severe and catastrophic. Planning includes review of pre-hospital care, field triage, hospital surge, allocation of scarce resources, patient care standards, alternate care sites and regional transfers.

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Marin has tested 578 people for coronavirus at the county's drive-thru testing site.

Of those with confirmed cases in the county, 48% are between 35 and 64 years old, 32% are 65 or older, 17% are between 19 and 34 years old, and 3% are 18 or younger. The average age is 52.

Six Marin residents have been hospitalized due to the illness. There have been no reported deaths in the county.

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