New Revised Shelter in Place Order Update

Supervisor Katie Rice 

April 29, 2020 – COVID 19 Update

Construction, Some Outdoor Businesses and Recreational Facilities Allowed to Open

To all District 2 Residents,

First and foremost a huge shout out to Marin residents for your patience and cooperation so far during this COVID pandemic. We have successfully flattened the curve; the numbers of new infections and hospitalizations are low and stable. We have given our health care system and response team time to expand surge capacity, increase testing capability including testing for residential/nursing facilities and their caregivers, we’ve secured housing for our most vulnerable, and are building contact tracing capability. Marin County is in a much better position to “manage” living with COVID-19 in a more open (but not completely open) economy. I say “manage” because that’s exactly what we are going to need to do until there is a vaccine or therapeutic treatments to combat the virus.

Secondly, if you have not learned already, our Public Health Officer released the details of a new revised Shelter in Place order today which will go into effect Monday May 4th. While the new order continues to require us to limit our activities to those related to conducting essential business or personal exercise, it does allow for most construction activities, outdoor landscaping/yardwork businesses, and opening of some recreation (golf, skateparks, court/field activities that can be confined to individuals/family units). This initial, measured easing of some restrictions is designed to set the stage for a gradual resumption of activity and prevent rapid, exponential growth of cases that could overwhelm hospitals for a particular jurisdiction or the region.


Please read this press release for a high level summary, watch this short video, and read the order itself for details. Additionally, the FAQ section on county Coronavirus website will address some of the changes in the new order.

While the new order represents a step forward along our “recovery” path, it’s limited scope also reflects how far we need to go. The science tells us that the virus is still here and will be for a long time. The data and the science tell us that without a vaccine or herd immunity, when we expand the number of people we interact with and places we go, the virus will spread. And while many won’t have any symptoms, many will get very sick, and of those a significant portion will die.

That’s why it’s so important to re-open in a safe, efficient, well informed manner armed with the tools needed to contain outbreaks and protect most vulnerable as best as possible.

Local Order versus State Order

Today’s announcement of a modified order will bring Marin County and the region’s Shelter in Place and Social Distancing orders closely in line with the Governor’s order for the entire state. There are now only a couple areas where the State order is more permissive than our local order (Park Closures, restrictions on Use of Short-Term Rental Orders).

While many would like to see Marin further relax our local order, the fact is we can only go so far. By law, while a local order can be more restrictive than the state’s, it cannot be more lenient. And the governor has been clear that he will not significantly be modifying the state order until certain conditions have been met. Specifically: adequate and reliable testing capability state-wide, adequate contact tracing and disease monitoring capability, health care system/surge capacity; and the ability to protect vulnerable populations. All these criteria are the tools we will need in place in order to manage life with COVID-19 for the foreseeable future.

Also important to note, at the local level, unlike general policy, land-use, executive or legislative authorities the Board of Supervisors or a city/town council enjoys, in the area of public health, when it comes to disease outbreak/public heath emergencies, “frontline” responsibility and authority belongs to local Public Health Officer.  

That said, our Public Health officer is not making decisions in a vacuum of community or political input. He is very much aware of the impact the orders are having on our economy, social, public and personal lives. As such, and in anticipation of the Governor beginning to ease restrictions in phases over the coming weeks and months, providing room for us to ease our own local restrictions, the County is launching a multi-sector recovery working group that will bring together expertise from various sectors (public and private) towards providing input and sector knowledge to inform decisions around how to move forward with a safe and socially and economically sensitive recovery/reopening plan.

Please makes sure you’re signed up for daily updates from the County’s COVID website to get the latest information.

Be well. Stay home. Stay Safe.

 Katie Rice Signature


Contact Info:

Supervisor Katie Rice



District 2 Aides:

Nancy Vernon


Jen Gauna