May 8, 2020

Supervisor Katie Rice 

May 8, 2020

Many thanks to all of you who joined in on our Thursday Zoom In. Hope you found the conversation interesting and will “zoom” back for our next session. And, please, I’d appreciate any feedback or suggestions you might have.

Following up on a couple questions that were raised and I’m sure are of interest to the broader audience regarding why we can’t open the economy faster/end the shelter in place. To remind folks 1) the local public health officer holds decision making authority; 2) the local order can’t be more lenient than the states, though it can be stricter; 3) Our current local order is generally in alignment with the state order. However, the Governor announced today the opportunity for counties to accelerate the reopening of their economies through a “variance” process that would allow them to move ahead of the State schedule for reopening. Look at the State’s Roadmap to Recovery here.

The Public health officer has not commented yet on whether he will seek a variance, but I expect he will not for the following reasons:

  • One of the criteria for qualifying for a “variance” is having a clear two-week interval with no deaths. Our most recent death due to COVID-19 was May 5th.
  • Our case rate and mortality rate are higher than most of state. Marin positive case rates are 19th highest among the 58 counties, and death rates are 11th highest.
  • Marin’s infection and mortality rates are consistent with other core Bay Area counties, but not with counties to the north particularly Sonoma and Napa which have significantly lower rates. This epidemiologic data supports our continued alignment with the six Bay Area counties our public health orders have aligned with to date, and all six have used similar criteria for decision making around the Order as the Governor has put in place.

Click here for more on the state's criteria for Modifying the Stay-at-home Order.


That said, things are looking up and it feels like we’ve turned a corner – cautiously, albeit, but moving forward and in the right direction. New cases and hospitalizations are flat, testing, tracing, health care capacity is beefed up, and the community has come together to support a coordinated effort to protect our collective health in parallel with a responsible re-opening. As of May 4th, construction, retail nurseries, landscaping, gardeners, golf courses and other no-contact recreation have been given the green light to resume operations as long as safety protocols are in place. Public or private club swimming pools, gyms, and other group recreation facilities are still on hold. Click here for more on outdoor recreation. Next week we expect to hear official word that the Marin Order will be modified to allow curbside retail and related manufacturing and warehouse operations can open for business beginning May 18th. And our Marin Recovers Industry Advisors are working to rapidly and responsibly develop plans in anticipation of additional lower risk business sectors being given the thumbs up to reopen in the weeks ahead.

Please take a look at the Marin Recovers website the central clearinghouse for timely and accurate information about reopening and then recovery. Please give special attention to the Phases of Recovery.

Marin Recovers artwork showing seven people shoulder to shoulder

Our continued success keeping COVID-19 in check, our community safe, and getting our economy back on track is all possible as long as we continue to work together, watch out for each other, step up where we can.

Happy Mother’s Day!


Katie Rice Signature



Contact Info:

Supervisor Katie Rice



District 2 Aides:

Nancy Vernon


Jen Gauna