Shelter At Home Update

Supervisor Katie Rice 

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Dear Marin County Resident:

Today our Marin County Public Health Officer, along with the Health Officers of five other Bay Area Counties, has put in place a “shelter in place” order for all residents.

With this email, seeking to provide you with a high-level summary of what the order means for residents, government, private and non-profit businesses, and urging that you read the entire order yourself. I am most concerned that people will jump to conclusions and assume all businesses will be shutting down. In the words of Dr. Matt Willis, our County Public Health Officer, “The goal of the order is to limit groups congregating together in a way that could further spread the virus, it is not complete social shutdown. You can still complete your most essential outings or even engage in outdoor activity, so long as you avoid close contact.”

 Essential services and businesses that we rely on to support ourselves, families and communities are allowed to continue doing business. For example: healthcare operations, grocery, convenience stores, farmers markets, gas stations, auto-repair, banks, mailing and shipping services, laundromats, restaurants (delivery or carry out only), office supply, construction trades, taxis, legal and accounting services, and more are considered “essential businesses.”

I want to underscore that the coronavirus situation is very serious and our Public Health Officers have determined that the steps being taken today are necessary in order to slow the spread of the virus, protect the health of our most vulnerable, and prevent our health care system from being overwhelmed.

Here are the basics (cut and pasted from the County factsheet):


The Public Health Officers of the six largest counties in the Bay Area have been closely monitoring the rapidly accelerating situation with COVID-19 and it is clear that if we do not take very strong and aggressive action to slow down the spread of the disease, our hospitals and particularly our intensive care units will be overwhelmed with patients. We are taking this action to save the lives of the many higher-risk people in our community who are particularly susceptible to severe illness from COVID-19, and may die if we do not act now to slow the spread and make sure our hospitals do not get overwhelmed with a flood of patients over a short period of time.

The intent of this Order is to ensure that people remain in their residences and minimize social interactions outside of their immediate family unit. However, you may leave your residence for reasons specified in the Order. These reasons include ensuring the health and safety of yourself and your family, engaging in outdoor activity that does not involve close contact with other people, obtaining services and supplies for yourself and your family, and to perform employment functions that are permissible under the Order.

The Order is effective until 11:59 pm on Tuesday, April 7, 2020. However, the public health situation is changing rapidly. As the situation develops, the Health Officer will extend or modify this Order as necessary to slow the spread of COVID-19 to the maximum extent possible.

The Order identifies an extensive list of “essential businesses.” The employees of these businesses may continue to work outside of their residences so that the businesses may continue to offer their goods and services. Employees of non-essential businesses may report to work to maintain what the Order defines as “minimum basic operations,” which are the operations necessary to maintain the value of the business’s inventory and to provide for the business’s security. Additionally, government employees who are designated as essential by their government employer may continue to work outside their residence. Any employees who work outside their residence should maintain social distancing of six feet from any other person whenever possible.

Grocery stores, certified farmers’ markets, farm and produce stands, supermarkets, food banks, convenience stores, and similar food retail establishments are encouraged to remain open to provide food and pet supplies to the public. When visiting these establishments, please help retailers maintain six feet minimum distance between patrons, including by providing ample space while shopping and waiting in line.


Again, please read the entire Order (7 pages total), go to the Marin County coronavirus website, read the full joint press release  and also see the FAQ for the Shelter-in-Place Order.There will undoubtedly be questions and situations that the Order or website may not specifically address. Please don’t hesitate to contact me with those questions and I will do my best to answer or direct you to a resource that can.

It will take each one of us taking responsibility as individuals and as members of the larger community to adapt, manage, and ultimately get through this serious public health and societal challenge. Please take good care of yourself, your family, and take appropriate steps to help minimize the spread of the coronavirus and protect those most at risk. I will continue to provide updates, do my best to answer your questions, and support community health and resilience as we deal with this unprecedented challenge.






Supervisor Katie Rice

(415) 473-7825


District Aides:

Nancy Vernon

(415) 473-7351

Email Nancy


Jennifer Gauna

(415) 473-6159

Email Jennifer