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The City of San Rafael celebrates Pride Month

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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update: San Rafael Public Safety, Disaster Relief Fund Video Discussion + New Face Coverings Order

Posted on April 17, 2020

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“As you stay inside for us, we will stay outside for you.  Staying home saves lives.”
Diana Bishop, San Rafael Police Chief 

It’s hard to not want to go outside to hit the beach, hike to a swimming hole, or meet up with your favorite group for a bite. However, it’s more important now than ever to continue sheltering in place, for your safety and for ours. The next time you consider heading out, remember, unlike millions of Americans who can work from home, paramedics, police officers, firefighters, and other first responders are on the front lines keeping the public safe 

The San Rafael Police and Fire Departments remain committed to protecting the public with dignity and humanity. Each trip we make leaves them at a higher risk of COVID-19 exposure as they perform their critical jobs. 

Our Police Department is addressing calls for service of all kinds, including responding to and supporting people with mental illness and people experiencing homelessness, and deescalating violence. Now they must continue to do this challenging work with the added concern of COVID-19.

Additionally, with numbers of people not complying with the shelter in place order, officers are tasked with enforcing the order. On March 16, San Rafael Police added a new call type to their Computer Aided Dispatch system: COVID. This new call type categorizes phone calls made to police dispatch to report groups of people continuing to utilize sports fields, people driving to trail heads, and reports of non-essential businesses in operation—all of which violate the shelter in place order. From April 1 to today, they’ve received 253 calls in this category. 

pd social distancingOn April 3, 2020, our police department honored Santa Rosa Police Detective Marylou Armer of the Santa Rosa Police who passed away after contracting COVID-19. 

The San Rafael Fire Department has also implemented new measures within their operational protocols during this crisis. They’ve quickly mobilized to ensure they’re equipped with the proper supplies and support needed to safely treat and transport patients who display symptoms of coronavirus. Emergency medical dispatch screening procedures implemented have continued evolving, such as, screening calls for COVID-19 symptoms. If a patient complains of COVID-19 symptoms such as cough, fever or shortness of breath, that information is relayed to responding units to don appropriate protective equipment. San Rafael ambulances and fire engines are getting regularly disinfected by outside contractors who are provided by Marin County to support first responders. 

SR Firefighters don PPE gear

San Rafael Firefighters don their PPE gear 

As our police officers and firefighters work to respond to these calls they’re engaging in social distancing measures as much as possible. Cell phones, emails, and video calls have been instrumental in replacing shift briefings and other meetings to protect their own safety and prevent any potential spread of COVID-19 within their own team. Ultimately, their greatest risk comes from unnecessary interactions with members of the public. Our officers and firefighters are working hard to protect you; please do your part to protect them and the rest of our community by staying home 

Small Business Relief Fund Attracts Strong Interest 

San Rafael Small Business COVID-19 Disaster Relief Fund (the “Relief Fund”)launched on Wednesday, April 15 has received over 430 interested applicants, with 135 completed applications as of this writing. 

Mayor Gary Phillips invited Economic Director Danielle O’Leary, Bank of Marin CEO Russell Columbo, and San Rafael Chamber President Diane Henderson to discuss the collaboration and their motivation to support San Rafael’s small businessesSmall businesses are the backbone of this community,” Henderson says in the video, and we couldn’t agree more.  


Additionally, at the County Board of Supervisors meeting on Tuesday, April 21 the Board of Supervisors will consider contributing $50,000 to the COVID-19 disaster relief funds for San Rafael small businesses. 

We expect the application requests to exceed our funds raised to date – which is approximately $175,000. Our small businesses need your help. If you are interested in making a charitable donation to the San Rafael Small Business COVID19 Disaster Relief Fund, please submit checks to: 

San Rafael Chamber Educational Foundation, Inc. 

 817 Mission Avenue
San Rafael, CA 94901
A section 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation;
Tax ID no.84-2355703 

Face Coverings Required 

Beginning at 8am on Wednesday, April 22, Marin County is requiring people to cover their noses and mouths while engaging in essential activities outside the home. The new order requiring Face Coverings supplements the existing shelter in place order which is still in effect until May 3. 

Face Coverings must cover the nose and mouth, and should be made of fabric or other soft permeable material without holes. Homemade cloth coverings, bandanas, and neck gaiters are all acceptable options. The CDC released a video outlining how to make a simple covering out of a few common materials.  

Children ages 12 years old and younger are not required to wear Face Coverings. Additionally, people engaging in exercise such as walking, running or biking are not required to wear a Face Covering, but should carry one with them and continue to practice social distancing. 




  • The San Rafael Public Library is still here for you! Check-out the latest edition of Your Online Library to learn about remote services and upcoming programs. 
  • Have you completed your Census yet? Respond online, over the phone, or by mail, and remember to count everyone living in your home as of April 1, 2020. 

Updates on Coronavirus in Marin County

For the most up-to-date information on COVID-19 in Marin County please visit the Marin Health and Human Services Website:

Watch Video Updates from Marin HHS:
COVID-19 Video updates from Marin HHS are available on YouTube. Subscribe to be alerted when they post a new video.

COVID-19 Updates | FAQs 

COVID-19 Hotline and Public Health Email
Call: 415-473-7191

City of San Rafael Coronavirus Information

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