A health care worker preparing a COVID-19 vaccine in Marin County. (Photo from Marin County Department of Health and Human Services)

Marin County is ending the local COVID-19 public health emergency that has been in place since March 2020, county health officials announced Friday.

The local emergency will expire Feb. 28, the same day that California’s public health emergency will expire. At the Federal level, the national emergency and public health declarations will expire May 11.

“For Marin residents, the changes to the federal declaration of emergency are the most important because they will eventually impact access to COVID-19 testing, treatment, and vaccination,” said Dr. Lisa Santora, Deputy Public Health Officer for Marin County.

The local COVID-19 emergency declaration was primarily administrative, allowing flexibility in the workforce, the ability to seek and use mutual aid and to obtain financial reimbursement from federal agencies like the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

County health officials said most COVID-19 prevention and treatment strategies that have been offered by the county were federally funded. This included free COVID-19 testing, treatment and vaccinations offered equally to everyone.

While the crisis phase is likely over, county health officials said COVID-19 is still here, and the county will continue to monitor local COVID-19 activity.

As of last Tuesday, there were 16 COVID-19 patients in the hospital. In addition to tracking hospitalizations, county health officials have monitored wastewater for local virus activity. Recent activity shows that COVID-19 is still active in Marin. Yet, with vaccines and treatment widely available, cases are less severe, resulting in fewer hospitalizations due to COVID-19.