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COVID-19 Status Update for 09/29/2020

The status update for September 29, 2020 includes a Blueprint update from the State; the reopening of outdoor playgrounds; Safety measures for polling places; updated COVID-19 Data; and an Air Quality update.

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Appendix C-2: Allowed Additional Activities

[September 29, 2020]

Table of Contents:

General Requirements

The “Additional Activities” listed below may resume, subject to the requirements set forth in the Order and to any additional requirements set forth below or in separate guidance by the Health Officer.  These activities were selected to implement an initial measured expansion of activity based on health-related considerations including the risks of COVID-19 transmission associated with types and modes of activity, the ability to substantially mitigate transmission risks associated with the operations, and related factors, such as the following:

  • Increase in mobility and volume of activity—the overall impact resumption of the activity will have on the number of people leaving their homes and interacting with others in the community;
  • Contact intensity—the type (close or distant) and duration (brief or prolonged) of the contact involved in the activity;
  • Number of contacts—the approximate number of people that will be in the setting at the same time;
  • Modification potential—the degree to which mitigation measures can decrease the risk of transmission.

List of Additional Activities

Notwithstanding Section 15.a regarding outdoor recreation areas and shared recreation facilities, for the purposes of this Order Additional Activities include the following:

Frequently Asked Questions about Outdoor Protests

(1) Outdoor Protests

  • Basis for Addition.  The State of California has issued guidance for participation in in-person protests.
  • Description and Conditions.  Subject to requirements and restrictions of the local jurisdiction in which the protest takes place, persons may participate in outdoor protests if they wear Face Coverings and comply with Social Distancing Requirements, and attendance does not exceed 25 percent of the area’s maximum capacity or 100 persons, whichever is lower.

(2) Dog Parks

  • Basis for Addition.  Dog parks are outdoor locations that typically provide ample space for people to distance from one another.  Risks associated with this activity can be mitigated through measures that ensure adequate social distancing and limit intermixing between households.
  • Description and Conditions.  Dog parks may open to the public on June 5, 2020, subject to compliance with Social Distancing Requirements and Health Officer Order on Face Coverings. Individuals accessing dog parks must also limit their interactions with dogs outside of their own household, and should be aware that water fountains, benches and other high-touch areas within dog parks remain off limits.

(3) Outdoor Recreational Activities, Outdoor Faith-Based Gatherings and Outdoor Cultural Ceremonies

  • Basis for Addition.  In-person outdoor gatherings that are actively managed and monitored in a manner that ensures that the social distancing, face covering and all other requirements, including Health Officer orders, are enforced, significantly reduces the likelihood of transmission.
  • Description and Conditions.  All Recreational Activities, Faith-Based Gatherings, and Cultural Ceremonies must be held outdoors and have an individual that is required to actively manage and monitor the gathering to ensure strict compliance with all guidelines.

(4) Outdoor Playgrounds and other Outdoor Recreational Facilities (Added September 29, 2020)

  • Basis for Addition. On September 28, 2020 the State issued guidance stating that outdoor playgrounds and outdoor recreational facilities may operate, subject to State guidelines.
  • Description and Conditions. Outdoor playgrounds and outdoor recreational facilities must operate in strict compliance with State guidelines.

(5) Outdoor Swimming Pools

  • Basis for Addition. Outdoor swimming pools have few high-touch surfaces and do not require shared equipment.  Risks associated with outdoor swimming pools can be substantially mitigated through measures that provide for adequate social distancing. 
  • Description and Conditions to Operate. Outdoor swimming pools may operate subject to the following limitations in addition to those required elsewhere in the Order, including compliance with Social Distancing Requirements and Health Officer Order on Face Coverings.
    • Lap swimming must be limited to one swimmer per lane, except that members of the same household or living unit may occupy a single lane.
    • Use of shared swimming areas must be limited to no more than one swimmer per 300 square feet of shared pool space.
    • Except for members of the same household, swimmers shall remain at least six feet apart at all times.
    • At least one person, separate from a lifeguard, shall be on duty at all times to ensure that the social distancing protocol applicable to the facility and all limitations herein are followed.  To the extent that the swimming pool is unstaffed (e.g. HOA), the facility shall implement a maximum number of occupants to ensure social distancing, and should consider time limitations and/or a reservation system to the extent feasible.
    • Locker rooms shall be closed to the public, except for use as a restroom.
    • All gatherings shall be prohibited outside the pool, such as on pool decks, except that members of a household may observe a child or other person swimming to ensure safety and supervision.
    • All businesses operating outdoor swimming pools as a recreational activity, must follow these guidelines, as well as Industry-Specific Guidance Of The Health Officer Of The County Of Marin Regarding Required Best Practices For Outdoor Recreation Activity Businesses.
    • All businesses operating outdoor swimming pools as part of childcare, day camps or sports camps must be in compliance with the Industry-Specific Guidance of the Health Officer of the County of Marin Regarding Required Best Practices for Childcare Establishments, Day Camps, and Sports Camps.

(6) Social Bubbles

  • Additional Activity: Small public and private outdoor gatherings comprised of individuals within a Social Bubble are permitted, subject to the requirements of this Order. 
  • Basis for Addition:  Social Bubbles, which must follow the safety guidance issued by the CDC, CDPH, and local health officials at all times, are reasonably low risk for spreading infection.  Those in Social Bubbles must comply with the conditions in this Order.
  • Description and Conditions to Operate: 
    • Definitions:
      • A “Social Bubble” means a stable group of not more than 12 individuals, who may attend outdoor social or other events together.
      • A “Childcare or Youth Extracurricular Activity Unit” means a group formed for the purpose of providing childcare or for the purpose of allowing children and youth to engage in extracurricular activities and following the guidelines set forth in the Required Best Practices for Childcare Establishments, Summer Camps, and Sports Camps.
    • A Social Bubble may be comprised of a combination of households, but no household or individual may participate in more than one Social Bubble, except as described herein, and each member of the household must be counted as part of the same Social Bubble.
    • No person may be a member of more than one Social Bubble during any three-week period, except that a child who resides in more than one dwelling unit as part of a shared custody arrangement may be part of the Social Bubble of each of the child’s parents or guardians.
    • In addition to a Social Bubble, a youth may also be a member of a Childcare or Youth Extracurricular Activity Unit during the same three-week period.  However, a youth can only participate in one Childcare or Youth Extracurricular Activity Unit during any three-week period. 
    • Members of a Social Bubble or Childcare or Youth Extracurricular Activity Unit are strongly encouraged to comply with Social Distancing Requirements and Health Officer Order on Face Coverings Children, even when socializing with other members of their Social Bubble or Childcare or Youth Extracurricular Activity Unit, and except as expressly permitted herein shall continue to comply with all other applicable requirements (i.e., staying home while sick, obeying quarantine and isolation orders, etc.).

         MORE INFORMATION ABOUT SOCIAL BUBBLES:

(7) Use of Picnic and Barbeque Areas

  • Basis for Addition:  Picnic and barbeque areas are located outdoors, where the risk of transmission is low, and typically provide ample space for groups to distance from each other.  Risks associated with the use of these facilities can be substantially mitigated through measures that provide for adequate social distancing. 
  • Description and Conditions to Operate: 
    • Picnic areas and barbeque areas may be used only by members of the same household or living unit. 
    • Each picnic table may be occupied by only one household or living unit at a time.
    • Each barbeque pit or grill may be used by only one household or living unit at a time.
    • Each member of a household or living unit must maintain at least six feet of separation from all members of other households or living units in the area.  For clarity, members of the same household or living unit do not need to maintain six feet of separation from each other. 

(8) Vehicle-Based Gatherings

  • Basis for Addition:  Vehicle-based gatherings and drive-thru events have low-contact intensity because people of the same household must remain in their vehicles, except for narrow exceptions.  Risks associated with the use of these facilities can be substantially mitigated through measures that provide for adequate social distancing and limit intermixing between households.  The enactment of this Appendix C-2 hereby rescinds and supersedes the Order of the Health Office of the County of Marin Allowing for Certain Highly-Regulated Vehicle-Based Gatherings. 
  • Description and Conditions to Operate: Vehicle-based gatherings and drive-thru events for any purpose, including but not limited to drive-in theaters, drive-thru ceremonies, and vehicle-based ceremonies, are allowed, subject to the following limitations in addition to those required elsewhere in the Order:  
    • Definition. A Vehicle-Based Gathering is a gathering where during the entirety of the gathering every participant, excluding the Host, Personnel, and security, except as expressly provided herein, remains in a fully enclosed motorized vehicle parked at least six feet apart from other vehicles and where all occupants of each enclosed vehicle are members of a single household.  For clarity, an enclosed vehicle does not include a motorcycle, a convertible with the top open, a vehicle with no doors, or bicycle.
    • Host, Personnel, Gathering Plan. The gathering must have a designated organizational host who is responsible for ensuring compliance with this Order and the Shelter in Place Order during the gathering (“Host”).  Only those personnel of the organization necessary to facilitate the gathering and to ensure compliance with this Order can be present (“Personnel”).  In addition, the Host must:
      • For gatherings of more than 10 vehicles, request security staffing provided by the local law enforcement agency with primary jurisdiction for the location of the event (the “Agency”) and pay reasonable costs as established by the Agency.  If the Agency declines to provide such security, the Host is responsible for acquiring private security sufficient to ensure compliance with the Order and address any traffic and safety issues at its own cost. The amount of security necessary shall be determined by the entity providing security but should be no more than that deemed necessary to maintain safety and ensure compliance with the Order.  For clarity, if the Host already employs security, it may use its existing security officers.
      • Develop and provide the local law enforcement, upon request, with a Highly Regulated Vehicle Based Gathering Plan (“Gathering Plan”), as described in Section 7(c). The Gathering Plan must be substantially in the form attached to this Order as Appendix A.  Ensure participants and Personnel adhere to the Face Covering Order and the Social Distancing Requirements as described in the Shelter in Place Order at all times.
    • Occupants of Vehicles.  The occupants of a vehicle must be members of the same household and shall not change vehicles during the gathering. Further, no more than the legal occupancy in the vehicle is allowed.  Personnel and security are not considered occupants of a vehicle and may remain outside.
    • Location.  The gathering must take place in an outside location large enough to accommodate the distancing requirements of this Order and the Shelter in Place Order, e.g. a parking lot or similar space.  Further, line spacing between vehicles must be sufficient to allow for emergency entry and exit.  The location must be such that it can ensure exclusion of those not invited or without a reservation, but this requirement can be achieved by security.  If the location is not the property of the Host, the Host must provide the property owner of the location with the Gathering Plan and obtain written permission or agreement to utilize a location that specifically acknowledges receipt of the Gathering Plan.
    • Invite/Reservation Only.  The gathering must proceed by invitation or reservation only, with the limit tied to the capacity size of the location.
    • Limits.  Each gathering is limited to no more than 200 vehicles and can be no longer than 3 hours.
    • Windows.  If any of the windows on a vehicle is open, the occupants of the vehicle must wear a face covering in conformance with the Face Covering Order. 
    • Remain in Vehicle Exceptions.  Except as provided to use the bathroom in Section 7(b)(xi) or for an emergency, occupants of a vehicle may only exit the vehicle if and when the Host has specifically given express permission for a brief period of time.  Such permission must be limited to one vehicle at a time.  For clarity, occupants cannot use their time outside of the vehicle to interact with occupants of other vehicles.  
    • Local Law.  The gathering must comply with general requirements of the jurisdiction where it occurs, including any permit program established by a jurisdiction.  Jurisdictions that require a permitting process must be provided a copy of the Gathering Plan as described in Section 7(c).
    • Prohibition on Providing, Selling, or Exchanging.  No sales or exchanges of any items or food is permitted during the gathering.  As a limited exception, the Host may provide a significant document to one participant at a time, e.g. a diploma or other paper, while adhering to Social Distancing Requirements described in the Shelter in Place Order and the Face Covering Order.  Any items or food and related refuse brought by occupants of a vehicle must remain in the vehicle.
    • Bathrooms.  If the Host of the gathering makes bathrooms available during the event, bathrooms must be disinfected by the Host or Personnel between uses.  A Host, with the optional assistance of Personnel, must establish a line system that adheres to Social Distancing Requirements as described in the Shelter in Place Order and which is actively supervised by the Host or Personnel.  No more than 10 people are allowed to wait in line at the same time. The Host must also make hand sanitizer or a hand washing station available to the users of the bathrooms.
  • The Gathering Plan.  The Gathering Plan must be provided, upon request, to local public health at least one week before the event regardless of whether it has agreed to provide security.  The Gathering Plan must also be posted prominently at the gathering location and must include the following, as applicable:
    • Host contact information, including cell phone number and e-mail address;
    • The total number of Personnel that will be providing services during the gathering;
    • How it will limit the number of vehicles that can enter the designated location for the event;
    • How the arrangement of vehicles will allow for six-foot distance from one another and at all times;
    • How the arrangement of vehicles will allow for line spacing between vehicles sufficient for emergency exist;
    • How the Host, Personnel, and security will monitor the gathering so that only the occupants of one vehicle are allowed to exit their vehicle at a time during the gathering (except for bathroom use and emergency).

A Gathering Plan Template is available on the Marin Recovers website. 

Updated September 29, 2020 by:

Matt Willis, MD, MPH                                                                      

Health Officer of the County of Marin