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April 2, 2020

UPDATE, April 3, 10:36 a.m.: Marin public health officials announced this morning that the county is now recommending the use of face coverings when leaving home for essential travel to stem the spread of the coronavirus. The move aligns with new guidance by the California Department of Public Health, and in anticipation of updated recommendations by the CDC.

Masks should cover the face and mouth to help filter droplets from coughs and sneezes. Home-sewn fabric masks, bandanas and neck gaiters are among the recommended solutions as they can be washed and worn again — though officials advise against using the types of gauze surgical masks and N95 respirators that remain in short supply globally for health-care workers.

However, state experts still assert the "best community and individual defense against COVID-19 is washing our hands frequently, avoiding touching our eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands, avoiding being around sick people and physical distancing, especially by staying...

April 2, 2020

ROUNDUP: Officials demand better lab data as those with mild, moderate symptoms aren’t being tested; Marin sees first COVID-19 death; Blackie’s Pasture lot closed; Bay Area shelter order extended to May 1

MARCH 30 — While Marin County recorded its first coronavirus-related death last week, the county’s Deputy Public Health Officer Dr. Lisa Santora warned the Board of Supervisors that roughly 1 percent of residents may already be infected with the coronavirus, or some 3,000 undiagnosed cases versus the 93 confirmed, due to the limited availability of tests.

The news came as Marin and other Bay Area public-health officials demanded more comprehensive test-result data from independent labs, as the Blackie’s Pasture parking lot and Tiburon’s and Belvedere’s three public tennis courts were shut down, as the Bay Area extended its shelter-in-place order through May 1 — though Gov. Gavin Newsom suggested the statewide order could last through June — and as the U.S. surpassed China in confirmed c...

April 2, 2020

Paula Coven was watching the news a couple of weeks ago when she heard an appeal from a doctor: Hospitals and other health-care facilities were so short on protective supplies that they were asking the public to sew handmade washable cotton masks to help tide workers over. That plea prompted the Paradise Cay resident to start stitching. “I Googled ‘mask’ and ‘CDC’ and found a pattern,” says Coven, 61, referring to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “I’m not the greatest sewer, but I’m learning.” Coven is one of several Tiburon Peninsula residents (including Piper Berger, pictured) who are answering health facilities’ urgent call for protective equipment by powering up their sewing machines. Stuck inside during the statewide shelter-in-place order, locals are crafting homemade facemasks to help protect doctors, nurses and others — including themselves — from the coronavirus.

For the complete story, pick up this week's edition of The Ark on newsstands or SUBSCRIBE NOW fo...

April 2, 2020

Tiburon resident Katy Nixon Mitchell celebrated her 100th birthday last week with her extended family throughout the Bay Area — while still practicing physical distancing in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. Rather than gather in person for the celebration, Mitchell’s family surprised her on her birthday, March 25, with a virtual party, using video-conferencing platform Zoom to allow the World War II veteran to chat with her children and great-grandchildren at their homes in San Francisco and Terra Linda. Her neighbors also got into the act. An hour after the family party, neighbors gathered in front of her Cecilia Way driveway with a homemade sign — maintaining the required 6-foot distance in all directions — and sang “Happy Birthday” to her.

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April 2, 2020

Candidate Jack Ryan is the presumptive winner of the Tiburon Town Council race, having increased his lead over his competitors with just 650 countywide provisional ballots still to be counted from the March 3 presidential-primary election. The most updated results, released March 25, show Ryan with 36.7 percent of the votes, boasting a 138-vote lead over the second-place candidate, Tiburon Planning Commissioner Daniel Amir, who had 32.9 percent support. The third candidate, Planning Commissioner Kathleen Defever, was at 30 percent.

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April 2, 2020

A Tiburon couple that was aboard the coronavirus-stricken Grand Princess cruise ship to Hawaii last month has returned home symptom-free and with negative test results after a mandatory two-week quarantine at Travis Air Force Base in Solano County. On March 24, just over a month after leaving home for the 15-day Hawaiian cruise, longtime Tiburon residents Kathy and Rick Rose were cleared by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and allowed to leave the military base where they’d been in isolation for 14 days — the maximum incubation period for the coronavirus, according to the CDC.

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March 25, 2020

MARCH 23 — Confirmed coronavirus cases in Marin have more than quadrupled in the past week, from nine to 39 — including Marin’s public health officer, Dr. Matt Willis — as the U.S. total surged by nearly 10 times to 33,000 cases and Gov. Gavin Newsom expanded the Bay Area’s enforceable shelter-in-place order to the entire state.

  • Marin: 39 confirmed cases, 0 deaths, per the Marin Department of Health and Human Services as of March 22. Up from nine cases the previous week.

  • California: 1,733 confirmed cases, 27 deaths — not including passengers on the Grand Princess cruise that docked in Oakland — per the California Department of Public Health as of 2 p.m. March 22. Up from 335 cases, six deaths the previous week.

  • U.S.: 33,404 cases, 400 deaths, per the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as of 4 p.m. March 22. Up from about 3,500 cases and 68 deaths the previous week.

  • World: 332,930 cases and 14,150 deaths, per the World Health Organization as of 2 a.m. Marc...

March 25, 2020

The greater Tiburon Peninsula’s business centers became ghost towns last week as shop owners mostly heeded orders by regional and state officials to shut down nonessential businesses to the public — though one local business owner became a local online hero as she stepped up to offer two products in high demand: toilet paper and sanitizers.

Grocery stores like Safeway in Strawberry, Woodlands Market at The Boardwalk Shopping Center and Nugget Markets at The Cove Shopping Center were allowed to remain open, alongside banks, gas stations, laundry services and health-care facilities, while restaurants from Sweet Things and Foodniks at The Cove to Servino Ristorante and Sam’s Anchor Cafe downtown are allowed to offer food only for takeout and delivery — if they choose to remain open at all.

The original six-county shutdown in the Bay Area took effect at 12:01 a.m. March 17 and was to last through April 7. But days later, Gov. Gavin Newsom issued an open-ended shelter-in-place directive acros...

March 25, 2020

Seven months into the school year, Kate Sicklick had her weekday morning routine down pat. She was up at 7 a.m. and, after eating breakfast, was out the door by 8 a.m. to walk to Del Mar Middle School. She’d settle into her seat in Mr. O’Brien’s science class by the time the first bell rang at 8:20 a.m. That all changed March 13, when the Reed Union School District closed its three schools due to concerns about the potential spread of coronavirus. As a result, Kate spent last week adapting to a new routine. Now, she starts the school day by settling into her desk in her room around 9 a.m. She logs into her iPad and spends the next four hours sifting through online assignments, emailing her teachers and arranging virtual study sessions with classmates.

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March 25, 2020

It’s been more than two weeks since Jarvis Jones has left her house on Ned’s Way. As the threat of coronavirus started to intensify across Marin County, the 72-year-old designer and artist, who has chronic respiratory and kidney disease, began taking precautions to protect herself. “I started early because I have pre-existing conditions,” Jarvis said. Marin is one of six Bay Area counties ordered to shelter-in-place through at least April 7 in an effort to help curb the spread of the virus, which is particularly dangerous to older adults and those with pre-existing conditions. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, eight out of 10 deaths reported from the virus in the U.S. have been in seniors ages 65 and older. 

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Tiburon and Belvedere police officials say they hope to educate violators instead of punish them as Marin public-health officials shut down car access to all parks and open spaces countywide after stir-crazy Bay Area residents — just days into statewide shelter-in-place orders — swarmed Marin for a weekend taste of the great outdoors. Parks, open spaces and trails remain open to those who live in the same community and can walk or bike to access them. However, all public services, like parking lots, restrooms and garbage receptacles, will be locked down or removed, officials say. (Kevin Hessel photo / The Ark)

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March 25, 2020

While most day-to-day operations of local government have slowed to a crawl under the now statewide shelter-in-place order, officials on the Tiburon Peninsula are ramping up efforts to provide timely information to the public — even while they say they’re struggling to get the same from county and state officials. Belvedere and Tiburon each declared a local state of emergency last week, which allows them to be reimbursed for emergency-related costs and streamline the purchase of necessary resources. Meanwhile, both cities have canceled public meetings through the beginning of April, and staff has started to work remotely. All permit applications and building inspections have been suspended. 

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March 18, 2020

What started as a relaxing 15-day Grand Princess cruise to Hawaii quickly turned into a nightmarish marathon for a Tiburon couple who are now in the middle of what they expect will be a two-week mandatory coronavirus quarantine. “We’ve just resigned ourselves because there’s nothing we can do,” said Kathy Rose, 71, who, along with her husband Rick, 74, has been away from home for nearly a month. Though the Roses aren’t exhibiting symptoms of the virus, at least 21 of the 3,533 passengers and crew aboard the Grand Princess have tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. The Roses were among the first wave to disembark the ship after it made port in Oakland last week after spending several days languishing 50 miles off the coast of San Francisco.

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March 18, 2020

The Belvedere City Council is holding off on pledging any contribution of taxpayer dollars to the ongoing library expansion until it has a better picture of available budget funds. At its March 9 meeting, the council voted unanimously to continue discussion of the Belvedere-Tiburon Library Agency’s request for a $600,000 boost to its April and May council meetings, when the current budget’s surplus and next fiscal year’s preliminary budget will be available. The council also requested the city’s Finance Committee discuss the issue and provide direction on what amount, if any, the city can comfortably contribute.

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Tiburon Town Council candidate Jack Ryan has widened his lead over Planning Commissioner Daniel Amir in the three-way race for the single vacant seat. The latest tally, provided by the county Elections Department late March 13, is on trend with the rest of the March 3 presidential-primary election, in which the counting of an additional 33,000 ballots has only firmed up early results. The county last week reduced its outstanding count from 39,000 to 6,000 ballots left to tally countywide from the March 3 presidential-primary election. As of the March 13 update, Ryan had 1,301 votes, or 37 percent of the ballots cast, extending his lead to 130 votes from 90 over Amir, who has garnered 33.3 percent of the vote. Amir’s Planning Commission colleague Kathleen Defever was in third, with 1,027 votes, or 29.2 percent.

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