County of Marin Health and Human Services

Public Health Newsletter


MCPH OPIC Newsletter #3
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OPIC Monthly Newsletter

Issue 3                                                                    May 22, 2023

Our mission is to provide support to healthcare and congregate care facilities as you mitigate and manage risks due to communicable diseases and emergencies. We do this by promoting high levels of readiness, ensuring effective responses, and providing training and educational opportunities. 
Our monthly newsletters are for YOU, and they include: news and guidance updates, community status updates, available trainings and other educational opportunities.



Multi-Drug Resistant Organisms (MDROs) News, Resources, and Trainings



The end of the Federal Government declaration of the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency Declaration, as of May 11, 2023.  Here is a fact sheet about changes from HHS. Additional information about the changes to COVID-19 surveillance data.  

Governor Newson proclaimed the month of May to be Older Californians Month!

Celebrate life at every age and stage. Interested in new perspectives on aging? Check out This Chair Rocks, an inspiring book that debunks many myths about aging; and explore Old School, a resource clearinghouse for combating agism. Late life: Wisdom, Dignity, Community–we are focused on helping your residents age well and safely in Marin.

Message from Dr. Lael Duncan, Marin County Deputy Public Health Officer In the wake of the end of the Public Health Emergency declaration, and since the repeal of mask mandates in health- and long term-care settings, we have seen some challenging outbreaks in our LTC community. Though community cases and waste water levels of Covid-19 are lower, they are not zero and Omicron sub-variants are highly transmissible. Overall, cases among residents and staff are down, but outbreaks are large and spread fast! We urge you to consider your policies and to quickly re-implement necessary protective mitigation strategies at the first sign of spread or when any risk indicator is elevated. Contact for assistance or more information.

NOTICE: Recall of the SD Biosensor, Inc Pilot COVID-19 At Home Tests due to microbial contamination in the liquid buffer solution.  You can check the discontinued lot numbers to see if your test kits are recalled.  Do not pour the liquid down the drain. Recall Notice here

AFL 20-43.3 ( announces that effective May 12, 2023, CDPH's online COVID-19 Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) Survey is discontinued. SNFs must continue to submit weekly COVID-19 data to the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) via the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC's) National Health Safety Network (NHSN) system until December 31, 2024, unless DHHS specifies an earlier date.

COVID-19 Dog Detection Pilot Program in the news: Celebrate the success of our Marin County Pilot Program. Due to our documented success with the Canine program, and with a new LTC CDPH grant, the program will be offered widely across the Bay Area. THANK YOU to participating SNF and RCFE partners!! Read more about the history of the program in California schools. Jama Pediatric Article and Fortune Article

Upcoming Trainings and Opportunities

Great opportunity! NHICS Training & TTX. Open to all sites.

Wednesday, June 7th 10-11:30am

Zoom invitation sent by HPP

contact for questions or invitation

Facility Evacuation: Lessons Learned 

Training held May 4, 2023: RECORDING

Virtual Infection Prevention Train the Trainer Workshops, by CDPH
Trainings are repeated four times per week for each workshop topic to accommodate schedules. Choose one day/time per workshop topic to attend.

Urinary Tract Infection Prevention 
Multiple offerings: June 20-23
Register HERE

Certified Nursing Assistant IPC Curriculum
Multiple offerings: July 17-21
Register HERE

EVS IPC Curriculum for EVS Managers
Multiple Offerings: August 21-15
Register HERE

MCPH and Early Alert Canines are visiting SNFs. See them in action in this video.
We are providing monthly newsletters to provide updates from Marin County Public Health in terms of guidance, status updates, and trainings. These newsletters will be sent mid month, and our Ombudsman meetings will be held the fourth Tuesday of each month at 2 PM.
Please contact Dan Steckline to be added to those meeting invitations (

Next Ombudsman meeting is: Tuesday, May 23 2:00-3:00 PM

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County of Marin · 3240 Kerner Blvd. · San Rafael, CA 94901 · USA

Public Health Newsletter - May 2023
Marin County Public Health Newsletter - May 2023
In this Issue: Hepatitis C | Xylazine | Vaccine Storage | Back to School | COVID-19 Sniffing Dogs I Message from the Public Health Officer
A message to physicians and other health care providers from Marin County's Public Health Officers.
Hepatitis C: Lifting Barriers to Screening and Treatment

Hepatitis C is a leading cause of liver failure in Marin County. Effective and affordable treatments aHepatitis C Posterre now widely available. Marin Public Health and the coalition of community providers has set a goal of at least 100 Hepatitis C treatment starts in 2023. The CDC recommends screening all adults for Hepatitis C. Public Health is offering 30 minute primers on the latest screening and treatment guidelines for all Marin healthcare providers, in person or online. Contact to schedule a Hep C primer or to join the Marin Hepatitis C Coalition. You can track progress on our new Hepatitis C dashboard.

Xylazine, an Emerging Overdose Threat, Detected in Marin Wastewater

On April 27, a Marin County Public Health Advisory alerted local providers that Xylazine (Tranq), a powerful veterinary tranquilizer, had been detected in local wastewater signifying increased risk for overdose in our community. Marin’s wastewater-based surveillance has expanded beyond infectious diseases. This is another example of the advantage of wastewater-based surveillance over the alternative of measuring and responding to adverse events after they happen. This one pager on xylazine was developed for patients, and substance use and harm reduction partners.

Protecting Vaccines in Extreme Weather Events and Power Outages

In preparation for wildfire season and extended power outages, all local providers should have protocols to safely transport refrigerated and frozen vaccines, and have  backup sites for vaccine storage. CDC’s Vaccine Storage and Handling Toolkit is a valuable guide. Clinics enrolled in the Vaccines for Children (VFC) Program are required to follow protocols for vaccine management, storage, and temperature monitoring

Prepare for Back to School Vaccinations

This year, Marin County childhood immunization rates have surpassed state averages for the first time on record. To build on this success, as summer approaches, Marin Public Health encourages providers to plan for back-to-school vaccinations.  Immunizations are required for childcare, TK/Kindergarten and 7th grade entry (“checkpoints”). Since January 2021, medical exemptions (MEs) must be issued online through CAIR-ME.  See CDPH’s Shots For School website, and their Exemptions FAQ for more information and resources.

COVID-Sniffing Canines Gaining Support

COVID Sniffing Dogs - Scarlett &  RizzoScarlett and Rizzo, the COVID-sniffing dogs familiar to Marin’s long term care facilities, are gaining national attention. Their effectiveness in school-based screening was described here, and they were featured nationally here. Marin Public Health’s partnership with California Department of Public Health and Early Alert Canines has helped secure another year of state funding for the virus-detecting dog pilot.

Message from the Health Officer

Public Health Officer, Dr. Matt Willis

One of the lessons of the pandemic was the unique value of timely and reliable local data to guide local strategy. We’re fortunate to have a strong epidemiology team in Marin, and we continue to expand the use of data to advance local public health. Several “live” dashboards were recently developed and published to describe our progress, including the following: COVID-19; Influenza; overdose; Hepatitis C; life expectancy; and reportable communicable diseases. Please browse these resources and refer to them for your own goal-setting. These data will be updated regularly and referred to in communications with you, our clinicians, as we partner to protect the health of our community.

In gratitude,
Matt Willis

HHS Website
HHS Youtube
Copyright ©  2023
Marin County Public Health, a division of the Marin County Health & Human Services Department

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Our mailing address is:
3240 Kerner Blvd
San Rafael, CA 94901
Public Health Newsletter: STI / Hep B / Infant IZ / Opioids
Marin County Public Health Newsletter - April 2023
In this Issue: National Public  Health Week | STI Awareness | Perinatal Hep B | National Infant Immuniation Week | OD Free Marin I Message from the Deputy Public Health Officer
A message to physicians and other health care providers from Marin County's Public Health Officers.
Public Health Week Highlights EquityNational Public Health Week 2023 | ICE
National Public Health Week (NPHW) (April 3-9) recognized the importance of collaborating with the communities we serve to address health equity.  While Marin County is still ranked the Healthiest County in the State, the rankings highlight health inequities between communities. For example, cardiovascular disease is the primary cause of premature death among Marin’s Black residents, and disproportionately contributes to diminished life expectancy.  Health care providers play a key role in addressing racial disparities in health in Marin.