County of Marin Health and Human Services

Public Health Newsletter - March 2024

Public Health Newsletter - March 2024
Marin County Public Health Newsletter - March 2024
In this Issue: Pertussis | Fentanyl Update I Alzheimer's Resources | California Surgeon General in Marin | Community Health Assessment | Long-Term Care Facilities | Message from the Deputy Public Health Officer 
A message to physicians and other health care providers from Marin County's Public Health Officers.


Pertussis Virus Last week, MCPH issued a health advisory due to an outbreak of pertussis (whooping cough) at Tamalpais High School. People who have been vaccinated for pertussis often present with mild symptoms. MCPH recommends providers have a high index of suspicion and a low threshold for testing and evaluating individuals for pertussis.  Protect infants from pertussis by advising pregnant women and family members to get a DTaP vaccine.

Fentanyl Update

There were five overdose deaths in Marin due to fentanyl in the last two weeks of February, which corresponded with an increase in wastewater and 911 calls for non-fatal overdose events.  Earlier this month, MCPH issued a health advisory to clinicians and substance use treatment providers.    Overdose prevention is a top priority locally in Marin, and OD Free Marin is holding a community forum to address this critical issue on April 10th from 6:30-8pm.  To join the conversation and be part of the solution Register here.

New Tools for Addressing Alzheimer's


CDPH estimates that in 2019, over 7,000 Marin residents were living with Alzheimer’s disease, and that number is projected to double by 2040.  Out of growing concern statewide about the impact of Alzheimer’s and related dementias, CDPH has released a tool to help families; the tool addresses prevention, early identification, and advance planning.  Learn more at

California Surgeon General in Marin for Maternal Mental Health

Mother holding baby.California’s Surgeon General, Dr. Diana Ramos will be coming to Marin on Thursday, May 2, to give a keynote address at First 5’s Marin Communications Forum.  The talk will be focused on all aspects of Maternal Mental Health from Adverse Childhood Experiences to pregnancy to post-partum. More information can be found on the Facebook event page.

Community Health Assessment

Every three years, Marin Public Health gathers with stakeholders across our community to re-assess local health needs and set shared priorities. The Community Health Assessment (CHA) is required for achieving Public Health Accreditation and describes health indicators, disease prevalence, social determinants of health, access to healthcare services and other factors. Focus is placed on understanding health disparities, identifying areas for improvement, and informing interventions to promote health for all members of the community. The next CHA process will occur in 2025. Please click here to view the last Marin County Community Needs Assessment: A Summary of Key Findings.

Long-Term Care Settings Outbreak Free 



For the first time in 4 years, there are no reported outbreaks of communicable diseases among Marin County's long term care facilities.  This is due to waning seasonal respiratory viruses and improvements in infection control practices. In 2020, Public Health formed a new team dedicated to outbreak prevention and infection control (OPIC). In 2023, the OPIC team made 81 visits to long-term care settings to provide on-site training and support.  Marin’s OPIC team is currently mentoring Long Beach and Tuolumne County as part of the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) Infection Prevention and Control Learning Collaborative.

Message from the Deputy Public Health Officer

Dr. Lisa Santora, Deputy Health OfficerThis week, Public Health was in the news.  The Marin IJ feature our Marin County Life Expectancy Dashboard and the work of our Community Response Teams, which have been renamed Community Resilience Teams to reflect a broader scope of work post-pandemic.  It also highlighted how the pandemic fortified our public health system and the importance of harnessing lessons learned to improve the health and safety of our community.  We have deep gratitude for our ongoing partnership with Marin’s health care providers.  Thank you for all you do each day to keep our community, especially our most vulnerable residents, healthy and safe.
In gratitude,

Lisa M. Santora, MD, MPH
Deputy Heath Officer

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

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