County of Marin Health and Human Services

Public Health Newsletter - June 2024

Public Health Newsletter - June 2024
Marin County Public Health Newsletter - June 2024
In this Issue: Extreme Heat | COVID-19 Outlook | Suicide Prevention Dashboard | Wildfire Smoke | Message from the Public Health Officer 
A message to physicians and other health care providers from Marin County's Public Health Officers.

Extreme Heat

Image of thermometer and a very sunny skyExtreme heat is here and of growing concern.  Parts of California and the nation have already experienced major excessive heat events this summer.  Today, the National Weather Service (NWS) is forecasting a possible HeatRisk for the Bay Area starting this weekend.  Extreme heat can lead to serious medical emergencies, especially for vulnerable populations, including young children, older adults, people with chronic diseases and disabilities, outdoor workers and those who are pregnant.  New resources are available from the Governor’s Office at HeatReadyCA.

COVID-19 Surge and Outlook for this Fall

Since June 1, the amount of SARS-CoV-2 in Marin County wastewater has more than doubled to a four-month high. COVID-19 hospitalizations have followed a similar pattern and continue to rise.  The FDA advisory panel unanimously recommended that the Fall 2024 COVID vaccine be updated to target the JN.1 variant or one of its descendants. In Marin County, JN.1 was the dominant strain from December 2023 to April 2024. The KP.2 variant, which gained local dominance in May, is closely related to JN.1. Vaccine production is currently on track for availability in August.

Wildfire Smoke

Smoke from the Point Fire in Sonoma County impacted Marin County air quality this week. An increasing body of evidence is linking prolonged exposure to wildfire smoke to serious health outcomes. Simple measures to protect ourselves are outlined in the updated Marin County wildfire smoke safety webpage and described by Health Officer Dr. Matt Willis in this video from last year’s wildfire season. In addition, you can sign up for the new air quality notification service from the Bay Area Air Quality Management District.

Suicide Prevention Dashboard Launched

Suicide Prevention Logo
Marin County Public Health, Behavioral Health and Recovery Services, and the Marin County Suicide Prevention Collaborative have joined forces to share data in a new public-facing dashboard regarding suicide in our community. The goal is to elevate understanding, stimulate community dialogue, and drive collective action toward the goal of zero suicide deaths in our community.

Message from the Public Health Officer

Dr. Matt Willis, Public Health OfficerThis week, I had a chance to meet Dr. Tony Fauci after a lecture at Dominican University. His account of the federal pandemic response brought vivid memories of our local experience. I was reminded of the strong and immediate partnership with our clinical community during those uncertain times. The slack channel exchanges between Bay Area health officers in early 2020, made public through the Freedom of Information Act, help capture the degree to which the early response fell to us at the local level. As the nation reflects on the pandemic response, Marin Public Health remains grateful for the bond with our healthcare community.
In gratitude,

Matt Willis, MD, MPH
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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