Frequently Asked Questions

Shelter in Place

Yes, the Order permits nannies and babysitters caring for a child in the child’s own home to continue working. If families opt to have playdates, they need to keep playdates as a singular cohort. Keep the same group together and do not introduce or rotate members. By rotating members of the group, it allows kids to “pollinate” another group, which goes against the social/physical distancing practices. Play dates should follow the same guidelines for childcare centers that was issued on March 13.

(LINK to word "guidelines for childcare centers" above: https://www.marinhhs.org/sites/default/files/files/public-health-updates/advisory_guidance_childcare_2020.03.13_001-lh.pdf

Last Updated 04/01/2020 - 13:11

This new Order was issued by Health Officers of Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Contra Costa, and Alameda Counties and the City of Berkeley.  Those public health professionals have the authority under state law to issue Orders to protect the health and welfare of everyone in their jurisdictions. 

Last Updated 04/02/2020 - 10:26

Yes.  Please call first to determine if the vet has any restrictions in place. 

Last Updated 04/02/2020 - 11:15

Many businesses are not allowed to operate under this Order.  Essential businesses, as defined in the Order, are allowed (and encouraged) to continue operating.  If your work is not an essential business, you are not allowed to go to work and your employer cannot make you go except for limited minimum basic operations such as maintaining the value of a business’s inventory, keeping the business site safe and secure, or ensuring that employees are able to work remotely.  The Order does not prohibit anyone from working from home.  Your employer can require you to work from home – and you can do so – if your work allows it. 

Last Updated 04/02/2020 - 14:12

Yes.  The Order allows you to go outside for exercise activities like walking and running, as long as you strictly follow social distancing requirements including maintaining a distance of six feet from everyone outside your household, frequently washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using an effective hand sanitizer, covering coughs and sneezes, and avoiding all social interaction outside the household when sick with a fever or cough.

Last Updated 04/02/2020 - 15:38

A hospital cannot utilize homemade cloth masks as a substitute for regulation personal protective equipment (PPE) such as N-95 or surgical masks. Clinical trials suggest cloth masks offer poor filtration and are an inefficient form of protection against respiratory infection, especially in high-risk environments.

Last Updated 03/26/2020 - 12:06

It is mandatory.  This Order is a legal Order issued under the authority of California law.  You are required to comply, and it is a crime (a misdemeanor) not to follow the Order. 

Last Updated 04/02/2020 - 10:29

Yes.  The Order exempts travel by court order or law enforcement. 

 

 

Last Updated 04/02/2020 - 11:21

You can only leave your house for essential travel. Driving to a park or beach to get outdoors is non-essential travel and is not allowed under the Public Health Order. If you have a park or trail near your house, you can use it if you can access it in a non-motorized way.

Last Updated 03/31/2020 - 16:39

Self-storage facilities are not essential businesses but that they can maintain minimum business operations and allow people to access their units to the extent they are accessing them for medical or other essential needs. 

Last Updated 04/02/2020 - 11:22

If you leave your home to perform a essential activity (e.g., go to grocery store or visit doctor), you can reduce your risk of being infected with COVID-19 by adopting the following practices: - Practice social distancing at all times - Wash hands with soap and water when possible. - Avoid touching frequently touched community spaces. - Avoiding touching eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands. - Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue or your elbow.

Last Updated 03/31/2020 - 16:40

Yes, mental health appointments can continue. Patients should consult with their practitioners to determine whether it is appropriate and feasible to conduct individual mental health appointments remotely.  

Last Updated 04/02/2020 - 11:49
The intent of this Order is to ensure that people remain in their residences. However, you may travel outside of the County for reasons specified in the Order. These reasons include ensuring the health and safety of yourself and your family (e.g. you are a relative's caretaker and they live in a different county) and to perform employment functions that are permissible under the Order.

 

Last Updated 04/01/2020 - 12:40

Generally no. There are limited exceptions, such as if you are going to the hospital with a minor who is under 18 or someone who is developmentally disabled and needs assistance. For most other situations, the order prohibits non-necessary visitation to these kinds of facilities except at the end-of-life. This is difficult, but necessary to protect hospital staff and other patients. More info: https://www.marinhhs.org/sites/default/files/files/public-health-updates/ph_alert_hospitalvisitation_02020315.pdf

Last Updated 03/31/2020 - 16:41

The term “shelter in place” means to stay in your home and not leave unless necessary for one of the exceptions listed in the Order.

Last Updated 04/02/2020 - 10:37

All participants in group counseling services must attend meetings remotely if they are equipped to do so. Groups should make accommodations for remote support to the maximum extent feasible. If remote participation is not feasible or advisable under the circumstances, participation may occur in person provided that there is compliance with the social distancing requirements set forth in the Order, including maintaining at least 6 foot distance between individuals and capping group size to reduce in-person interactions.  

Last Updated 04/02/2020 - 11:59

Yes, the Order allows you to return home.

Last Updated 03/21/2020 - 11:10

Yes.  In addition to the statewide order, the County Health Officer’s Order remains in effect.  All residents must comply with the restrictions in both the County and State Orders.  If the restrictions in the two orders are different, you must comply with the stricter of the two orders. 

Last Updated 04/02/2020 - 10:38

No.  Hospital cafeterias fall within the exemption for healthcare facilities and may remain open.  Hospital cafeterias must be structured to ensure six-foot minimum distancing between non-related individuals picking up food from or eating in the facility.  Hospital cafeterias should increase cleaning and sanitization to minimize risk of exposure and follow other Social Distancing Requirements specified in the Order to the maximum extent feasible.  Cafeterias in all other facilities must follow the requirements in the Order – specifically, food can be carried out or delivered, but cannot be eaten in the cafeteria.  

Last Updated 04/02/2020 - 12:29

Routine landscaping, gardening and other commercial outdoor services that provide general upkeep are not deemed essential and are not permitted under this Order. The County urges non-essential outdoor services to be deferred to minimize risk of transmission.  However, there are some outdoor services that would be considered essential and are permitted under this Order, including fire reduction work, maintaining growth along curbs and medians in order to ensure visibility along roadways, minimum basic operations necessary to maintain the value of a business, and other tasks that are essential to the health and safety of the public.

 

Last Updated 03/21/2020 - 11:11

You are subject to the same restrictions for travel as individuals currently in the County.  You may travel into the County to perform “essential activities,” work to operate “essential businesses,” or maintain “essential governmental functions” as those terms are defined in the Order.

Last Updated 03/31/2020 - 09:06

Sheltering in place is a more rigorous form of social distancing. 

Sheltering in place means you: 

  • Must stay at home 

  • Can only leave your home for “essential activities,” to work for an “essential business,” to perform “minimum basic operations” for your employer, or for “essential travel,” as those terms are defined in the new Order (you can also see the FAQs for details) 

  • Cannot host or attend any gatherings 

You should also maintain at least 6 feet of separation from other people who are not in your household, wash your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds each time (or use hand sanitizer), cough or sneeze into a tissue or your sleeve (not into your hands), and stay home if you are sick. 

Last Updated 04/02/2020 - 10:41

Yes.  All employees of hospitals, clinics, and other organizations that provide healthcare, provide services to healthcare organizations, provide needed supplies to healthcare organizations, or otherwise maintain healthcare operations of all kinds may continue working. 

The Health Order does not advise health care workers over 60 to cease reporting to work, even though others in that age group are being directed to stay home. 

Last Updated 04/02/2020 - 12:33

Yes, but only to the extent that the services being provided by such healthcare operators are essential to the health and safety of the public. Anything that can be postponed until this Order is lifted or that can be done remotely – by phone or online – should be. If it’s essential, your provider should screen you by phone for coronavirus symptoms before you leave home. If you go, use social distancing and personal protective equipment during the visit.

Last Updated 03/21/2020 - 11:15

No. For your health and safety and that of the community, we need to help each other fight the spread of COVID-19 by staying at home.

Last Updated 03/31/2020 - 09:17

No.  For your safety as well as their safety, you are not allowed to visit friends or family members outside your own household.  We need to help each other fight the spread of COVID-19 by staying at home.

Last Updated 04/02/2020 - 10:41

Yes.  Be extremely cautious when providing care to vulnerable people and ensure that you protect them and yourself by following social distancing guidelines such as washing hands before and after, using hand sanitizer, maintaining at least 6 feet of distance when possible, and coughing or sneezing into a tissue. 

Last Updated 04/02/2020 - 12:37

No.  Only essential businesses as defined in the Order may continue operating while this order in in place.  Non-essential businesses, including but not limited to, arts and crafts supply stores, golf courses, gun shops, and other alike are not permitted to continue physical sales of their goods under this Order.  Further, stores are not allowed to modify their operations in order to keep their doors open to the public, including limiting hours, sales or the number of customers in a store at one time.  

Last Updated 03/25/2020 - 13:40

Not for vacationing purposes.  Short-term lodging including short-term rentals, hotels, motels, and bed-and-breakfasts, may continue for the limited purposes of either (1) COVID-19 mitigation and containment measures, including measures to protect homeless populations (examples include: isolation and quarantine or the housing of displaced persons); (2) housing workers performing essential business activities and essential government functions within the County; or (3) housing individuals staying overnight in Marin to perform the essential activity of caring for the health and safety needs of a family member.

Last Updated 03/31/2020 - 09:18

Yes.  Mail and delivery services may continue to operate under the Order. 

Last Updated 04/02/2020 - 10:42

If you work for an essential business, as described in the Order, you can and should continue to work.  Certain employers, schools, and community organizations will be providing childcare for employees of essential businesses.  You may also employ a nanny or babysitter to provide home-based care for your kids. 

Last Updated 04/02/2020 - 12:40

Service providers like plumbers, electricians, and exterminators can keep working and providing services to the public that are necessary to maintain a livable, sanitary, and functional household.  You can call your building manager or one of these service providers, or you can also visit your hardware store to assist with making your own repairs. 

Last Updated 04/02/2020 - 14:47

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 travel outside of the County for reasons specified in the Order, including travel to care for dependents and travel required by court order. 

Last Updated 03/21/2020 - 11:17

No. For your health and safety and that of the community, we need to help each other fight the spread of COVID-19 by staying at home.

Last Updated 03/31/2020 - 09:23

Yes.  The Order allows you to go online, purchase items, and have them delivered to your home. 

Last Updated 04/02/2020 - 10:43

Yes, but only to allow children of owners, employees, volunteers, and contractors for essential businesses, essential governmental functions, or for carrying out minimum basic operations to work.  Children of other workers who are not exempt under the Order cannot attend daycare.   

Also, any daycare facility operating to serve children of essential workers need to comply with these mandatory conditions in the Order to the extent possible: 

  1. Childcare must be carried out in stable groups of 12 or fewer (“stable” means that the same 12 or fewer children are in the same group each day).  

  1. Children shall not change from one group to another. 

  1. If more than one group of children is cared for at one facility, each group shall be in a separate room. Groups shall not mix with each other. 

  1. Childcare providers shall remain solely with one group of children. 

Last Updated 04/02/2020 - 13:00

Yes, so long as the service is necessary to maintain safety and sanitation. Allowable operations include routine maintenance work like cleaning, chemical balancing and adjustments, and filtration (necessary to, for instance, prevent pool algae from blooming) and safety-oriented repairs. 

Last Updated 04/02/2020 - 14:59

Home service workers can keep providing services in homes if they are essential to health, safety, sanitation, or the necessary operation of the home. Generally, this means that plumbing, pest control, important maintenance (to, for example, fix a water leak or a faulty wire), or similar services needed to maintain a safe and sanitary home are allowed.  Purely cosmetic or other non-essential home services for general upkeep are not allowed and should be put off.  Home-based care for children, adults, seniors, and pets is also allowed under the Order.  

Last Updated 04/02/2020 - 14:46

Yes. Bike repair shops are treated as an essential business (the same as auto repair shops), but only to the extent they are necessary to facilitate essential travel.

Last Updated 03/21/2020 - 11:21

This new Order requires that most people continue sheltering in their place of residence until May 3, 2020.  This new Order replaces the prior Shelter-in-Place Order, which was set to expire on April 7, 2020.  It also adds to the list of restrictions to slow the spread of the COVID-19 disease. 

You are still allowed to participate in “essential activities” or to work for an “essential business” if it is not possible for you to work from home.  This means that you are allowed to leave your home for specified reasons—like to make sure you have the necessities of life (discussed more below) such as getting food and medical supplies, or to perform work for an essential business that you cannot complete from your home.  You are also allowed to go outside to take care of a pet or for exercise so long as you don’t congregate in a group and maintain at least six feet of distance between you and other people who aren’t part of your family or living unit.   

Last Updated 04/02/2020 - 10:09

Please contact friends, family, or others you know who can provide support.  They are allowed to pick up the items you need.  You can also order food and other supplies and have them delivered to your home. 

Last Updated 04/02/2020 - 10:52

The Order allows you to engage in outdoor activities, provided that you maintain adequate social distancing.  While we encourage use of parks, we strongly discourage the use of playgrounds because they include high-touch surfaces, and because it is typically not possible for children to reliably maintain social distancing at playgrounds.

Last Updated 03/21/2020 - 11:21

The new Order went into effect starting 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, March 31, 2020. 

Last Updated 04/02/2020 - 10:15

No.  For your safety as well as the safety of your fellow worshippers, we need to help each other fight the spread of COVID-19 by staying at home.  Places of worship may offer remote access to services, such as by emails, video streaming, or teleconference. 

Last Updated 04/02/2020 - 10:54

As a government employee, you can continue to go to work if your employer designates you as an essential employee.  Each government agency is responsible for determining which of its workers are essential workers. 

Last Updated 04/02/2020 - 15:33

Moving companies may continue to assist with necessary residential moves under this Order, since maintaining an available housing supply and keeping people sheltered is essential to the health and safety of the public.  Moving companies may also continue to assist with necessary commercial moves that ensure essential businesses as defined under the Order may continue operating.  Non-essential residential or commercial moves, as well as any moves for non-essential businesses, should be deferred to minimize risk of transmission.

Last Updated 03/21/2020 - 11:22

The new Order is currently set to last until Sunday, May 3, 2020 at 11:59 p.m.  The County Health Officer may choose to shorten or extend the time period.  How long the restrictions are in place will depend on what the County Health Officer decides is necessary to protect public health. 

Last Updated 04/02/2020 - 10:20

Most items can be ordered online and delivered to your home, and many other non-essential items may be available from retailers who primarily sell essential items.

Last Updated 04/02/2020 - 10:56

Yes, but public transit, ride-share services, or any other way of traveling can only be used for Essential Travel, which means: 

  1. Travel to provide or access Essential Activities, Essential Governmental Functions, Essential Businesses, or Minimum Basic Operations. 

  1. Travel to care for any elderly, minors, dependents, or persons with disabilities. 

  1. Travel to or from school to get materials for distance learning, to pick up meals, and to access any related services. 

  1. Travel to return home from outside the County. 

  1. Travel required by law enforcement or a court order. 

  1. Travel required for non-residents to leave the County and go back home.  

  1. Travel to manage after-death arrangements and burial.  

  1. Travel to arrange for shelter or avoid homelessness.  

  1. Travel to avoid domestic violence or child abuse.  

  1. Travel for parental custody arrangements.  

  1. Travel to a place to temporarily reside in a residence or other facility to avoid potentially exposing others to COVID-19, such as a hotel or other facility provided by a governmental authority for such purposes. 

When you are on public transit, you must follow the Order’s social distancing requirements to the greatest extent feasible, including maintaining a distance of six feet from everyone outside your household or living unit, frequently washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using an effective hand sanitizer, covering coughs and sneezes, and avoiding all social interaction outside the household when sick with a fever or cough. 

When you use ride-share services for essential travel, keep in mind that you should avoid as much as possible being in close quarters in a vehicle that has been used by lots of other people.    

Last Updated 04/02/2020 - 15:35

Generally, no. Only painters necessary for the completion of essential infrastructure as defined in this Order may continue operating while this Order is in place.

Last Updated 03/21/2020 - 11:22

Yes.  The Health Officer may make changes to the new Order as more information emerges about the public health situation and may issue new orders and directives as conditions warrant.  Check the County website for updates regularly at https://coronavirus.marinhhs.org/.  The County is working with the media to share important updates and information. 

Last Updated 04/02/2020 - 10:22

No.  Entertainment venues are not allowed to operate. 

Last Updated 04/02/2020 - 10:58

Yes, you can use shared bikes and scooters for essential travel, such as commuting to work as an essential employee.  But keep in mind that shared bikes and scooters are not routinely sanitized.  Take precautions, including bringing sanitization wipes, not touching your face while on the bike or scooter, and washing your hands for at least 20 seconds immediately after. 

Last Updated 04/02/2020 - 15:36

No.  Only essential businesses as defined in the Order may continue operating while this Order is in place.  

Last Updated 03/22/2020 - 14:34

This new Order (or a similar order) is in effect across the six most populous counties of the Bay Area, including in Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Contra Costa, and Alameda Counties.  Additional counties may issue the same or similar orders. 

Last Updated 04/02/2020 - 10:24

Yes, but you cannot use dog parks.  Be sure that you distance yourself at least six feet from others who are not part of your household.   

Last Updated 04/02/2020 - 11:13

Yes.  The Order allows businesses to deliver products to people’s residences.  

Last Updated 04/02/2020 - 15:05

Yes, but only to perform essential activities or essential government functions, operate an essential business, or perform minimum basic operations at a non-essential business, as those terms are defined in the Order.  You can also leave to go back home or engage in other essential travel.  Otherwise, the answer is no because that puts you and others in the community at risk. Keep in mind that Health Officers in neighboring counties have issued the same or similar shelter-in-place orders. 

Last Updated 04/02/2020 - 15:37

This Order is in effect in all of Marin County. In addition, similar orders are in effect across the Bay Area, including in Santa Clara, San Francisco, San Mateo, Contra Costa, and Alameda Counties, and the City of Berkeley. As of Thursday, March 19, 2020, a similar Order went into effect for the entire state of California.

Last Updated 03/31/2020 - 14:49

 The following excerpt from the Order lists the “Essential Businesses:"

  1. Healthcare Operations and businesses that operate, maintain, or repair Essential Infrastructure; 

  1. Grocery stores, certified farmers’ markets, farm and produce stands, supermarkets, food banks, convenience stores, and other establishments engaged in the retail sale of unprepared food, canned food, dry goods, non-alcoholic beverages, fresh fruits and vegetables, pet supply, fresh meats, fish, and poultry, as well as hygienic products and household consumer products necessary for personal hygiene or the habitability, sanitation, or operation of residences.  The businesses included in this subparagraph (ii) include establishments that sell multiple categories of products provided that they sell a significant amount of essential products identified in this subparagraph, such as liquor stores that also sell a significant amount of food.    

  1. Food cultivation, including farming, livestock, and fishing; 

  1. Businesses that provide food, shelter, and social services, and other necessities of life for economically disadvantaged or otherwise needy individuals; 

  1. Construction, but only of the types listed in this subparagraph below:  

  1. Projects immediately necessary to the maintenance, operation or repair of Essential Infrastructure;  

  1. Projects associated with Healthcare Operations, including creating or expanding Healthcare Operations, provided that such construction is directly related to the COVID-19 response; 

  1. Affordable housing that is or will be income-restricted, including multi-unit or mixed-use developments containing at least 10% income-restricted units; 

  1. Public works projects if specifically designated as an Essential Governmental Function by the lead governmental agency; 

  1. Shelters and temporary housing, but not including hotels or motels; 

  1. Projects immediately necessary to provide critical non-commercial services to individuals experiencing homelessness, elderly persons, persons who are economically disadvantaged, and persons with special needs; 

  1. Construction necessary to ensure that existing construction sites that must be shut down under this Order are left in a safe and secure manner, but only to the extent necessary to do so; and 

  1. Construction or repair necessary to ensure that residences and buildings containing Essential Businesses are safe, sanitary, or habitable to the extent such construction or repair cannot reasonably be delayed; 

  1. Newspapers, television, radio, and other media services; 

  1. Gas stations and auto-supply, auto-repair (including, but not limited to, for cars, trucks, motorcycles and motorized scooters), and automotive dealerships, but only for the purpose of providing auto-supply and auto-repair services (and not, by way of example, car sales or car washes).  This subparagraph (vii) does not restrict the on-line purchase of automobiles if they are delivered to a residence or Essential Business; 

  1. Bicycle repair and supply shops;  

  1. Banks and related financial institutions; 

  1. Service providers that enable residential transactions (including rentals, leases, and home sales), including, but not limited to, real estate agents, escrow agents, notaries, and title companies, provided that appointments and other residential viewings must only occur virtually or, if a virtual viewing is not feasible, by appointment with no more than two visitors at a time residing within the same household or living unit and one individual showing the unit (except that in person visits are not allowed when the occupant is still residing in the residence); 

  1. Hardware stores; 

  1. Plumbers, electricians, exterminators, and other service providers who provide services that are necessary to maintaining the habitability, sanitation, and operation of residences and Essential Businesses, but not for cosmetic or other purposes; 

  1. Arborists, landscapers, gardeners, and similar service professionals, but only to the limited extent necessary to maintain the habitability, sanitation, operation of businesses or residences, or the safety of residents, employees, or the public (such as fire safety or tree trimming to prevent a dangerous condition), and not for cosmetic or other purposes (such as upkeep);  

  1. Businesses providing mailing and shipping services, including post office boxes; 

  1. Educational institutions—including public and private K-12 schools, colleges, and universities—for purposes of facilitating distance learning or performing essential functions, provided that social distancing of six-feet per person is maintained to the greatest extent possible; 

  1. Laundromats, drycleaners, and laundry service providers; 

  1. Restaurants and other facilities that prepare and serve food, but only for delivery or carry out.  Schools and other entities that typically provide free food services to students or members of the public may continue to do so under this Order on the condition that the food is provided to students or members of the public on a pick-up and take-away basis only.  Schools and other entities that provide food services under this exemption shall not permit the food to be eaten at the site where it is provided, or at any other gathering site; 

  1. Funeral home providers, mortuaries, cemeteries, and crematoriums, to the extent necessary for the transport, preparation, or processing of bodies or remains;  

  1. Businesses that supply other Essential Businesses with the support or supplies necessary to operate, but only to the extent that they support or supply these Essential Businesses.  This exemption shall not be used as a basis for engaging in sales to the general public from retail storefronts; 

  1. Businesses that have the primary function of shipping or delivering groceries, food, or other goods directly to residences or businesses.  This exemption shall not be used to allow for manufacturing or assembly of non-essential products or for other functions besides those necessary to the delivery operation;  

  1. Airlines, taxis, rental car companies, rideshare services (including shared bicycles and scooters), and other private transportation providers providing transportation services necessary for Essential Activities and other purposes expressly authorized in this Order; 

  1. Home-based care for seniors, adults, children, and pets; 

  1. Residential facilities and shelters for seniors, adults, and children; 

  1. Professional services, such as legal, notary, or accounting services, when necessary to assist in compliance with non-elective, legally required activities; 

  1. Services to assist individuals in finding employment with Essential Businesses;  

  1. Moving services that facilitate residential or commercial moves that are allowed under this Order; 

  1. Childcare facilities providing services that enable owners, employees, volunteers, and contractors for Essential Businesses, Essential Governmental Functions, or Minimum Basic Operations to work as allowed under this Order.  Children of owners, employees, volunteers, and contractors who are not exempt under this Order may not attend childcare facilities.  To the extent possible, childcare facilities must operate under the following conditions: 

  1. Childcare must be carried out in stable groups of 12 or fewer (“stable” means that the same 12 or fewer children are in the same group each day).  

  1. Children shall not change from one group to another. 

  1. If more than one group of children is cared for at one facility, each group shall be in a separate room. Groups shall not mix with each other. 

  1. Childcare providers shall remain solely with one group of children. 

Last Updated 04/02/2020 - 13:08

This is a legally enforceable order issued under California law. It is a crime to violate this Order, and you may be punished by a fine or imprisonment for doing so.

Last Updated 03/16/2020 - 13:20

All public and private gatherings of any number of people occurring outside a household or living unit are prohibited, except for the limited purposes as expressly permitted in Section 10.[1] of the Shelter at Home order. However, nothing in the Order prohibits the gathering of members already living in the same household or living unit.

Last Updated 04/01/2020 - 12:07

This Order is mandatory, and all persons, businesses, and other entities are required to comply if they do not fall within the exemptions that are specified in the Order.

Last Updated 03/16/2020 - 13:20

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.

Last Updated 03/16/2020 - 13:20

Restaurants and food facilities should focus on food delivery and takeout while maximizing social distancing for those who are inside their restaurant. Marin County Environmental Health Services offers guidance for food facilities. If your facility is offering take-out or delivery options, you should follow EHS's Food Safety for Food Delivery and Pick-up guidance. Consult Environmental Health Service's website for additional updates as the Shelter In Place order continues.

(NOTE: link to "guidance for food facilities" https://www.marinhhs.org/sites/default/files/files/servicepages/2020_03/corona_virus_guidance_for_food_facilities_march_2020_2.pdf)

(NOTE: link to "Food Safety for Food Delivery and Pick-up" https://www.marincounty.org/-/media/files/departments/cd/ehs/food/marin-ehs-delivery-food-safety.pdf?la=en)

(NOTE: link to "Environmental Health Services's website" https://www.marincounty.org/depts/cd/divisions/environmental-health-services)

Last Updated 04/01/2020 - 12:57

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.

Last Updated 03/16/2020 - 13:20

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.

Last Updated 04/01/2020 - 14:24

The Order identifies an extensive list of “essential businesses” that may continue to serve the public in person during the term of this Order. The Order allows non-essential businesses to maintain what the Order defines as “minimum basic operations,” which are the operations necessary to maintain the value of the business’s inventory, to provide for the business’s security, and to ensure that employees can effectively work from home.

Other than to maintain minimum basic operations, your employees can only work remotely from their residences.  

Last Updated 04/02/2020 - 13:36

The intent of this Order is to ensure that people remain in their residences and minimize social interactions outside of their immediate family unit. The Order allows travel out of the County only to perform “essential activities,” operate “essential businesses,” or to maintain “essential governmental functions,” as those terms are defined in the Order.

Last Updated 04/01/2020 - 12:19

No. The Order specifically excludes all healthcare related functions, including not just hospitals, clinics, and healthcare providers, but also all of the companies that supply them with goods and services.

Last Updated 03/16/2020 - 13:20

Public transit will continue to operate on a limited basis. Public transit can only be used to perform “essential activities,” to get to and from work to operate “essential businesses,” or to maintain “essential governmental functions,” as those terms are defined in the Order. Public transit service may be impacted during the shelter in place order. Please verify operating routes and service times with the transit operator: Golden Gate Transit & Ferry Service Marin Transit Sonoma Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART)

NOTE: Links for transit options: GGT&F: https://www.goldengate.org/golden-gate-bus--ferry-services-adjusted-during-coronavirus-pandemic/ MT: https://marintransit.org/service-alerts SMART: http://sonomamarintrain.org/schedules-fares

Last Updated 04/01/2020 - 12:12

Yes. Pharmacies, healthcare supply stores, and healthcare facilities are allowed to operate.

Last Updated 03/16/2020 - 13:20

Government employees can continue to go to work if they are designated as essential employees by their employer. Each government is responsible for determining which of its workers are essential.

Last Updated 03/16/2020 - 13:20

No.  But most employees of these companies need to work from home.  The only employees of these companies who can go to work are: (i) employees who are needed to maintain the minimum basic operations described in the Order; or (ii) employees who are needed to work onsite to operate, maintain, or repair Essential Infrastructure (i.e., essential global, national, and local infrastructure for internet, computing services, business infrastructure, communications, and web-based services for the community) and who cannot perform their work duties from home.   

Any employees who are onsite must strictly follow the Order’s social distancing requirements, including maintaining a distance of six feet from one another (unless incompatible with the job duty), frequently washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using an effective hand sanitizer, covering coughs and sneezes, and avoiding all social interaction outside the household when sick with a fever or cough. 

Last Updated 04/02/2020 - 13:41

Unless you are experiencing a medical emergency, call your doctor, nurse hotline, community clinic, or urgent care center first before going to the hospital. Call 911 or go to an emergency room if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

Last Updated 03/19/2020 - 11:29

Yes, the Order identifies businesses that deliver goods or services directly to residences as “essential businesses” that may continue to operate.

Last Updated 03/16/2020 - 13:20

This Order requires that all schools stop holding classes at physical locations within the County. However, schools may provide distance learning to their students. Employees of schools may go to work for the purpose of providing distance learning to their students. Schools can also continue to offer students free and reduced price lunches, which many schools are doing.

Last Updated 03/16/2020 - 13:20

Childcare facilities may only operate if they enable employees exempt by this Order to continue working as permitted and only under certain conditions. Among these conditions, children must be cared for in groups of 12 or fewer, groups of children may not mix with each other, and providers may not circulate between groups.

Last Updated 03/16/2020 - 13:20

Yes. 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.

Last Updated 03/16/2020 - 13:20

Yes. Spending time outside improves mood and wellbeing, and is particularly beneficial to children. You can go for walks, go to the park, and engage in other similar activities, but should maintain social distance (i.e. be more than 6 feet away from persons who are not part of your household) when on walks and in parks to avoid spread of the virus.

Last Updated 03/16/2020 - 13:20

No. You will continue to be able to purchase these items whenever you need them, as stores selling necessary items like grocery stores, pharmacies, and hardware stores will remain open. Please continue to buy normal quantities of these items on the same schedule you normally do.

Last Updated 03/16/2020 - 13:20

No. Instead, get exercise by taking a walk, going for a jog, or riding your bike. But maintain a social distance of at least six feet from people who are not members of your household when doing so.

Last Updated 03/16/2020 - 13:20

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.

Last Updated 03/31/2020 - 15:00

The Order specifically allows people to leave their home to buy food, purchase medicine, and purchase other necessary items. It also directs businesses selling those items to remain open, and allows employees of those businesses to keep working and to ensure those businesses are operating.

Last Updated 03/16/2020 - 13:20

Restaurants, cafes, food trucks, and similar establishments may remain open to supply meals to the public via delivery and carryout. You can also purchase prepared foods at grocery stores, supermarkets, certified farmers’ markets, convenience stores, and other such food retailers.

Last Updated 03/16/2020 - 13:20

Yes, but only to pick up food.  You cannot dine, eat, or drink in or around the facility.  These facilities can also deliver. 

Last Updated 04/02/2020 - 15:56

Schools, soup kitchens, food banks and other entities that provide free or reduced priced food goods or meals to students or other members of the public are encouraged to continue providing these services. However, food provided by these establishments to the public may not be eaten on the premises but must be delivered or taken away for consumption. To find food resources near you, look at the SF-Marin Food Bank’s Food Locator: https://foodlocator.sfmfoodbank.org/

Last Updated 04/01/2020 - 14:38

Call your plumber. This Order allows service providers like plumbers, electricians, and exterminators to keep working and providing their services to the public. To obtain supplies for a DIY solution, you can also visit your hardware store, which is allowed to stay open under this Order.

Last Updated 03/16/2020 - 13:20

Business Operations

Yes.  The Order allows businesses to deliver products to people’s residences. But car dealerships cannot sell or lease cars in-person. 

Last Updated 04/02/2020 - 15:06

Yes, janitorial services are allowed because they are necessary for health and sanitation.

Last Updated 04/02/2020 - 14:15

No.  Gun shops are not essential businesses under the Order.  The Order allows delivery of inventory directly to customers at their residences in compliance with applicable laws and regulations, but gun shops may not make sales from their storefronts. 

Last Updated 04/02/2020 - 15:08

No.  If your business is covered in the list of essential businesses in the Order, then you may operate your business from a facility in the County so long as you create, post, and implement a Social Distancing Protocol for each facility using the template attached to the Order.  You do not need to obtain any specific authorization from the County to run your business.  The County does not issue written determinations or authorizations. 

Last Updated 04/02/2020 - 10:35

The cafeteria can operate like other food facilities.  It can serve food to the remaining employees, so long as the employees take the food away and do not eat it in the cafeteria.  The cafeteria must strictly follow the social distancing requirements in the Order.  

Last Updated 04/02/2020 - 14:27

Yes, cemeteries are essential infrastructure. 

Are funeral home providers and mortuaries allowed to continue operating? 

Yes, funeral home providers and mortuaries may continue operating to the extent necessary to the transport, preparation, or processing of remains. This means that any employee necessary for the transport, preparation and/or processing of a body may continue to report to these facilities to conduct their work. 

Last Updated 04/02/2020 - 15:09

No.  You do not need to carry official documentation (and the County does not issue any) demonstrating that you are exempt under the new Order.  But be prepared to explain if requested by law enforcement why your travel is authorized under the Order. 

 

Last Updated 04/02/2020 - 10:35

You may keep your liquor store open if it also sells a significant amount of products like food, and household cleaning and personal hygiene items. 

Last Updated 04/02/2020 - 14:30

No.  Businesses that supply food goods and prepared meals to grocery stores and other food retailers are essential and may continue operating.   

 

Last Updated 04/02/2020 - 14:33

Yes, if the project you are working on is immediately necessary to the maintenance, operation, or repair of Essential Infrastructure.  Essential Infrastructure means airports, utilities (including water, sewer, gas, and electrical), oil refining, roads and highways, public transportation, solid waste facilities (including collection, removal, disposal, and processing facilities), cemeteries, mortuaries, crematoriums, and telecommunications systems (including the provision of essential global, national, and local infrastructure for internet, computing services, business infrastructure, communications, and web-based services).

Last Updated 04/02/2020 - 15:17

Yes, but only to the extent they support or supply those essential businesses.  Warehouses and distribution centers should minimize the number of employees onsite and strictly comply with all social distancing requirements in the Order. 

  

Last Updated 04/02/2020 - 14:35

Unless your work is exempted in the Order, you cannot go to work at a physical location in the County even if you want to.  You can work from home for any business if your employer allows it and your work can be done from home. 

Last Updated 04/02/2020 - 14:39

Employees and contractors of any governmental entity may continue to provide the services and products if the governmental entity determines that they are necessary to carry out an essential governmental function. 

Last Updated 04/02/2020 - 14:41

No.  “Essential businesses” may keep their facilities open (and are strongly encouraged to keep them open) to continue providing essential services and products to the public.  Employees may leave home to go to these jobs.  But all businesses, including essential ones, are required to maximize the number of employees working from home and bring in only those employees who can’t carry out their job duties from home.  

Non-essential businesses must cease all activities at their facilities within the County, except to provide minimum basic operations, such as maintaining the value of a business’s inventory, keeping the business site safe and secure, ensuring that employees are able to work remotely, or providing for the delivery of existing inventory to residences or businesses.  Employees may otherwise work from home. 

Last Updated 04/02/2020 - 13:06

Generally, no. Real estate agents, escrow agents, and other service providers that facilitate residential transactions like home sales and apartment rentals are essential workers, but all appointments and viewings must happen virtually (via video or livestream).  Only if a virtual viewing is not possible, then in-person showings can occur by appointment with no more than two visitors at a time from the same household, and only one agent showing the unit.  In-person showings or walk-throughs are not allowed when the occupant is still living in the residence. 

Last Updated 04/02/2020 - 15:00

Yes.  If your business is primarily engaged in supply or repair of cell phones or other telecommunications devices, then it is essential infrastructure and may continue to operate under the Order. 

Last Updated 04/02/2020 - 15:30

No.  The Order exempts any business that is performing work related to the delivery of health care, including hospitals, clinics, COVID-19 testing locations, dentists, pharmacies, blood banks and blood drives, pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, other healthcare facilities, healthcare suppliers, home healthcare services providers, mental health providers, and veterinary care and all healthcare services provided to animals.   

Last Updated 04/02/2020 - 13:42

Yes.

Last Updated 04/02/2020 - 15:02

No.  Essential government functions will continue, including first responders, emergency management personnel, emergency dispatchers, and law enforcement.  Other government functions or offices may be subject to reduced schedules or may be closed as part of the effort to fight the spread of COVID-19.  Each government agency identifies the services that qualify as Essential Governmental Functions, and designates the personnel who will continue providing those functions. 

Last Updated 04/02/2020 - 15:31

It depends.  Your lab may operate only if it performs work that is exempted in the Order.  Otherwise, you and your employees are allowed to perform only minimum basic operations onsite at your workplace, and must strictly comply with the Order’s social distancing requirements, including maintaining a distance of six feet from one another, frequently washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using an effective hand sanitizer, covering coughs and sneezes, and avoiding all social interaction outside the household when sick with a fever or cough.  Other than that, employees cannot be onsite at your lab locations. 

Last Updated 04/02/2020 - 13:49

Yes.

Last Updated 04/02/2020 - 15:02

Businesses that include an Essential Business component at their facilities alongside non-essential components must scale down their in-person operations to the Essential Business component only.  For instance, if 20% of manufacturing capacity in your business is devoted to essential products, and 80% of capacity is devoted to non-essential products, you can only operate at 20% capacity.  The one exception to this rule is that retail businesses that sell a significant amount of essential products like food, personal hygiene, and consumer household products may keep their entire retail storefronts open even if some of the products they sell are non-essential. 

 

Last Updated 04/02/2020 - 14:02

Medical dispensaries can dispense under healthcare industry exemptions. Suppliers to medical dispensaries and licensed medical growers can operate as well.  Non-medical cultivation, supply, and dispensing of cannabis are prohibited, with the exception of deliveries directly to residences. Dispensaries with a mixed clientele of both medical and non-medical customers can do in-person business only with medical customers. 

Last Updated 04/02/2020 - 15:03

Yes.  If your store sells a significant amount of groceries and hygiene products, you can keep your entire store open. 

Last Updated 04/02/2020 - 14:03

No. If you do not sell a significant amount of goods like food, hygiene, or cleaning products, you cannot keep your storefront open. Your store can deliver items directly to customers’ residences.  Other than that, you can only maintain minimum basic operations, such as store security and safeguarding your inventory.  

Last Updated 04/02/2020 - 14:07

Yes, if they provide essential services as described in the Order.  This would include non-profits operating food pantries, providing housing for homeless residents, and providing other critical services.  Non-profit organizations that do not provide essential services cannot continue operating their facilities, except to provide minimum basic operations, such as maintaining the value of inventory, keeping the site safe and secure, providing for the delivery of existing inventory to residences or businesses, or ensuring that employees are able to work remotely.  All employees may also work remotely from their residences. 

Unless closer contact is necessary for their work, all employees must strictly comply with the Order’s social distancing requirements, including maintaining a distance of six feet from one another, frequently washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using an effective hand sanitizer, covering coughs and sneezes, and avoiding all social interaction outside the household when sick with a fever or cough.  Other than that, employees cannot be onsite at your lab locations. 

Last Updated 04/02/2020 - 13:53

Construction Projects

Yes.  Further information about the modified operations of the Building Division and Planning Division during this emergency are available here: https://www.marincounty.org/depts/cd

Last Updated 03/19/2020 - 17:26

You can construct only the following kinds of housing:  

  1. Affordable housing that is or will be income-restricted, including multi-unit or mixed-use developments containing at least 10% income-restricted units; 

  1. Public works projects if specifically designated as an Essential Governmental Function by the lead governmental agency; 

  1. Shelters and temporary housing, but not including hotels or motels; 

  1. Projects immediately necessary to provide critical non-commercial services to individuals experiencing homelessness, elderly persons, persons who are economically disadvantaged, and persons with special needs; 

You cannot otherwise continue construction of market-rate housing, except (i) to ensure that your existing construction sites are left in a safe and secure manner while they are shut down in compliance with this Order; or (ii) to engage in construction or repair necessary to ensure that existing market-rate housing is safe, sanitary, and habitable if that construction or repair cannot be delayed. 

 

 

Last Updated 04/02/2020 - 15:23

You must defer your remodel or renovation project unless it is necessary to restore your home to a safe, sanitary, and habitable space.

 

Last Updated 03/19/2020 - 17:27
  1. Projects immediately necessary to the maintenance, operation, or repair of Essential Infrastructure;  

  1. Projects associated with Healthcare Operations, including creating or expanding Healthcare Operations, provided that such construction is directly related to the COVID-19 response; 

  1. Affordable housing that is or will be income-restricted, including multi-unit or mixed-use developments containing at least 10% income-restricted units; 

  1. Public works projects if specifically designated as an Essential Governmental Function by the lead governmental agency; 

  1. Shelters and temporary housing, but not including hotels or motels; 

  1. Projects immediately necessary to provide critical non-commercial services to individuals experiencing homelessness, elderly persons, persons who are economically disadvantaged, and persons with special needs; 

  1. Construction strictly necessary to ensure that existing construction sites that must be shut down under this Order are left in a safe and secure manner, but only to the extent necessary to do so; and 

  1. Construction or repair necessary to ensure that residences and buildings containing Essential Businesses are safe, sanitary, or habitable to the extent such construction or repair cannot reasonably be delayed; 

Last Updated 04/02/2020 - 15:14

Yes, if the construction is immediately necessary to maintain the operation of essential computer or internet infrastructure.  

Last Updated 04/02/2020 - 15:18

Yes, if the construction on the healthcare facility is directly related to the COVID-19 response, such as creating or expanding Healthcare Operations that are directly needed to provide COVID-19-related health care. 

Last Updated 04/02/2020 - 15:22

Residential remodeling projects that are partly completed can continue if delaying completion would pose a safety, security, or sanitation risk to residents or impact the habitability of the residence; otherwise, they must be deferred.  

Last Updated 04/02/2020 - 15:27

You can perform work on the site only to ensure it is safe and secure while it is shut down in compliance with this Order. This includes sending employees to the construction site to secure the site and ensure it does not sustain damage. You can continue construction on the project only if strictly necessary to prevent damage to the project, e.g. completing a roof or ensuring that there is proper drainage after grading has been completed. 

Last Updated 04/02/2020 - 15:28

Quarries can continue to operate in order to supply materials necessary for the operation and maintenance of Essential Infrastructure or for construction activities allowed under the Order. All quarries must comply with social distancing requirements set forth in the Order to the greatest extent feasible.  

Last Updated 04/02/2020 - 15:29