County of Marin Health and Human Services

Public Health Newsletter - January 2024

Public Health Newsletter - January 2024
Marin County Public Health Newsletter - January 2024
In this Issue: COVID-19 Isolation | Nirsevimab for Infants I RSV Advisory | Cipro Resistance Advisory | Mental Health for Boys and Men | Cardiovascular Health and Life Expectancy | Message from the Deputy Public Health Officer 
A message to physicians and other health care providers from Marin County's Public Health Officers.

New COVID-19 Isolation Guidance

On January 9, 2024, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) updated isolation guidance for individuals who test positive for COVID-19. This guidance does not apply to healthcare personnel who work in hospitals or skilled nursing facilities. Individuals can now return to work or school if symptoms are mild and improving, and they have been fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medications. Staying home for at least 5 days is no longer required. Asymptomatic close contacts should test if they are at higher-risk or have higher-risk close contacts.  Cal OSHA COVID-19 prevention regulations and the health officer face mask order in patient areas of specified healthcare settings remain in effect.

Increased Supply of RSV Antibody for Infants

The new RSV infant immunization nirsevimab has been in short supply since itsRSV Virus approval in July, 2023. Following the announcement that the manufacturer is releasing additional doses, the CDC is now advising providers to provide nirsevimab to eligible infants and children as soon as possible. Healthcare providers can order nirsevimab through their usual supplier, or at
Vaccines for Children (VFC) program providers, nirsevimab is available.   For questions on how to become a VFC provider, call Marin County Public Health at 415-473-4163.

RSV Vaccine Advisory

On December 29th, Marin County Public Health issued a Public Health Advisory urging providers to order the RSV vaccine for their patients who live in long term care facilities. To date, there have been two RSV outbreaks in skilled nursing facilities, involving four hospitalizations and one death. RSV is in peak circulation in our community and the vaccine is highly effective at preventing serious disease.

Ciprofloxacin-Resistant Meningococcus Advisory

On January 22nd, Marin County Public Health issued a Public Health Advisory advising providers not to use ciprofloxacin for post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) for invasive meningococcal disease (IMD) due to an increase in ciprofloxacin-resistant strains of Neisseria meningitidis in our region.  Healthcare providers in Marin County should use rifampin, ceftriaxone or azithromycin for IMD PEP in Marin County.  Suspected cases of meningitis must be reported to Public Health immediately at 415-473-4163.  This highlights critical the importance of antibiotic stewardship in preventing or slowing the development of antimicrobial resistant organisms in our community.

Supporting Men and Boys' Mental Health

Men account for 3 out of 4 suicides and overdoses in Marin County. Men and boys often struggle to recognize personal crises or seek help. Marin County Suicide Prevention Collaborative formed the Men and Boys Action Team to address the disproportionate impact on men in our community. Led by people with firsthand experiences, the team meets regularly to talk through shared challenges, offer mutual support, and inform local efforts to reduce overdose and suicide. The group welcomes anyone over 13 years old who identifies as a male to join their team.  Learn more about their work at Redefining Strength – A Conversation About Marin County Men And Boys’ Mental Health.

Cardiovascular Mortality Drives Local Life Expectancy Gap

Marin County Public Health's epidemiology team recently published an analysis of differences in life expectancy (LE) between groups within Marin. While Marin’s average LE is among the highest in the state, the team found a 15-year gap in longevity between communities. This health inequity is driven mainly by preventable cardiovascular mortality in lower income communities, and especially among Marin’s African American residents. Promoting a health life span for all communities is a priority for Marin County Public Health. Visit to learn more about local strategies to reduce this health disparity.

Message from the Deputy Public Health Officer

Four years ago this week, the city of Wuhan was placed on lockdown and the first case of COVID-19 was confirmed in the United States.  Flash forward to today - we have at-home COVID tests, vaccinations, and effective treatment. This month we also reached a historic post-pandemic milestone – shifting from a prescribed isolation period to a symptom-based approach.  COVID is now part of our viral landscape. 

While the acute strain of the pandemic is easing, health care will still be marked by disruption and change.  We have tremendous opportunities to harness lessons learned from the pandemic and galvanize efforts to address the challenges that lay ahead of us. We look forward to collaborating with you in 2024 to improve the health of our community.

With gratitude,

Lisa M. Santora MD, MPH
Deputy Public Health Officer

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Marin County Public Health, a division of the Marin County Health & Human Services Department

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