COVID Vaccines and Testing in Marin

It’s safest to stay home until further notice  |  Graphic from Marin Health and Human Services  |  post by Larry Clinton

On December 21, Marin County Public Health announced that Marin County had received its first shipment of the Pfizer vaccine, a minimal supply of 2,000 doses received on December 16. The county will distribute the recently approved vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna in a phased approach; Phase I of this distribution has already begun.

As part of Phase I, the Pfizer vaccine was first given to staff at Marin’s three hospitals. Those eligible for vaccination in this first phase also include staff members of skilled nursing care facilities and residential care facilities for the elderly.

Phase 2 will probably begin in March 2021. The County is awaiting state guidelines, but it’s expected that those given the highest priority in phase 2 will include essential workers, in-person educators, child care staff, construction workers and food workers. Vulnerable people over 65 and individuals over 75 who are not connected to services will also be included. More details are on the County’s Coronavirus website.

Meanwhile, COVID-19 testing continues to be important, and free testing is being made available at five rotating locations in Marin. Here’s the schedule, from a County news release:

Mondays, starting December 21: Bolinas Fire Station, 100 Mesa Road, 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., and San Geronimo Valley Community Center, 6350 Sir Francis Drake Boulevard, 2 p.m to 4 p.m.
Tuesdays, starting December 22: United Market, 100 Red Hill Avenue, San Anselmo, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Wednesdays, starting January 6: Sausalito City Hall, 420 Litho Street, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Thursdays, starting January 7: Piper Park, 250 Doherty Drive, Larkspur, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Fridays, starting January 8: Novato Library, 1720 Novato Boulevard, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Public Health Division of Marin County Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) offers the following considerations for who should get tested:

  • Those who have symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Those who have had close contact (within 6 feet for a total of 15 minutes or more) with someone who has been confirmed to have COVID-19.
  • Those who have been asked or referred to get tested by a health care provider, local health department or state health department.
  • Essential workers who have regular contact with the public should be tested up to monthly whether or not they have symptoms.

Experts agree that small gatherings have led to the current surge in transmissions. Notwithstanding the testing availability and start of vaccine distributions, it’s still safest to stay at home and not mix with others this holiday season.