SAN RAFAEL (CBS SF) — Marin County’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Matt Willis, who has been leading the local battle against the coronavirus, announced Monday he has contracted the virus.
Willis said he began to feel feverish with a worsening cough on Friday. He went to the county’s drive-thru coronavirus testing facility and a swab was taken. On Sunday, the results came back — he had tested positive for the virus.
He was suffering from mild symptons and has been self-quarantined from his family. As for the source of the infection, Willis did not disclose where that may have occurred.
“My case is further proof that COVID-19 is with us,” Willis said in a prepared statement. “While my symptoms are now mild, as most people’s will be, we also know that for many, especially our elders, this same illness can be life threatening.”
Willis announced that he was Marin’s 39th confirmed case.
“My symptoms have improved somewhat since Friday,” he said on a Youtube video. “I still have a cough but I no longer have a fever.”
In the youtube video, Willis stressed the importance of sheltering-at-home, especially for the safety of older adults, vulnerable residents.
Willis announcement comes as an increasing number of healthcare workers regionally were also being diagnosed with the illness. Marin officials said their hospitals, clinics and public health work environments were following new CDC guidance for potential workplace exposures.
“Basically, the recommendation is to keep working as long as you don’t have symptoms, said Deputy Public Health Officer Dr Lisa Santora. “That’s because we’re at a point where we’re assuming potential exposures, whether we know about them or not.”
While Willis is recovering, Santora will assume the duties of county chief medical officer.
In his Youtube messaage, Willis appealed to the broader community to do everything possible to flatten the curve in California.
“Stay in place and limit anything outside the home to only essential trips,” he said. “Because we’re seeing signs of our responders being exposed and pulled away from duty, we need to double down on our efforts to limit countywide exposures.”