Early Intervention May Have Saved 50,000 Lives In Bay Area

Bay Area counties were the first in the nation to issue public health orders requiring residents to shelter in place. 

Now Marin County Public Health Officer Dr. Matt Willis says that early action saved many lives. 

“The latest estimates publicized (Tuesday) suggest the timing of our action together to shelter in place in the Bay Area, as the earliest action like that nationally, saved between 30 and 40,000 lives among the 17 million or so living in the Bay Area.”

Dr. Willis shared the report in a video message to county residents Wednesday. While Dr. Willis did not provide more details about his analysis, the estimate suggests sheltering in place has saved enough people to populate the city of Menlo Park or Pleasant Hill. The number of illnesses and deaths per capita in the Bay Area and California as a whole is much lower than in some places such as New York. 

“We have currently 203 confirmed cases in Marin County, which breaks down into 49 active cases, 143 recovered, and 11 who have died,” said Dr. Willis. “There are currently five people hospitalized with COVID-19 in Marin County.“

One of those confirmed cases was Dr. Willis himself, who caught the virus relatively early and has since recovered. But he says we cannot relax just yet.

“Some might see this as mission accomplished. But the reality is this is only the first stage of a much larger and longer mission… our biggest challenges are ahead of us as we try to balance the needs for opening our economy while preventing surges in disease, knowing that the virus is part of our environment and that so many of us remain susceptible to COVID-19.”