Protecting Public Health
Legal authority for County Health Officer orders addressing the COVID-19 pandemic is in the California Health and Safety Code, which grants broad powers to the Health Officer to protect public health during local emergencies and prevent the spread of contagious diseases. The statutes include Health and Safety Code sections 101040 and 120175. As actions taken under this statutory authority, Health Officer orders are measures taken to preserve the public health, which is an exercise of the police power contained in the California Constitution.
Face Coverings in Indoor Public Spaces
Beginning December 30: all people, regardless of vaccination status, must wear masks in indoor public spaces and workplaces. Marin Public Health has issued an order that directs residents and businesses to comply with CDPH face covering guidance. All previous exemptions for small groups of fully vaccinated people have been removed. Masks are now required in all indoor public spaces, including gyms, fitness centers, office settings, employee commuter vehicles, religious gatherings, college classes and similar environments.
- Read CDPH's Face Covering Guidance
- Mask and face covering information
- Frequently Asked Questions: Mask Use
- PDF: Printable “Masks Required” signs in English, Spanish, Tagalog, Vietnamese, Chinese, Russian and Farsi.
Isolation and Quarantine
While Marin County is one of the most highly vaccinated counties in California, COVID-19 continues to pose a risk, especially to residents of the County who are not fully vaccinated. A Marin Public Health order mandates that county residents and businesses comply with the CDPH isolation and quarantine guidance.
Requiring COVID-19 Vaccine Verification and Weekly COVID-19 Testing for Certain Unvaccinated Workers
Date of order: January 6, 2022
This order replaces the September 1, 2021 order (“Prior Order”) requiring Law Enforcement, Fire, Emergency Medical Services (“EMS”), Temporary Disaster Shelter, and Public Sector Employers to verify the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (“COVID-19”) vaccination status of all Personnel. The Prior Order also required Law Enforcement, Fire, EMS, and Temporary Disaster Shelter Personnel who are not Fully Vaccinated to undergo weekly testing for the virus that causes COVID-19 and imposed reporting requirements in the event an employee tests positive for COVID-19.
The January 6, 2022 order requires all Personnel subject to the Prior Order to undergo weekly COVID-19 testing, with certain exceptions, or prove that they are fully vaccinated and have received a booster shot, if eligible. This order goes into effect Friday, January 28.
- Health Order: Requiring the verification of vaccination status and requiring weekly COVID-19 testing for certain unvaccinated workers.
- Vaccine Opportunities
- Testing Opportunities
Requirements for Collecting and Handling Clinical Specimens for COVID-19 Testing by Private Operators of Specimen Collection Sites
Date of order: January 27, 2022
In response to recent concerns about rogue, pop-up COVID-19 testing sites, an order was issued that requires testing providers meet standards of safety, quality and certification if they are providing testing in Marin County. While Marin County Public Health continues to encourage use of home-based testing kits, for those seeking laboratory-based tests we recommend the use of reputable and established providers. The order is designed to ensure that Marin residents can feel confident in the quality and safety of the testing operations available locally.
State Public Health Officer Order
On June 11, 2021, the California Department of Public Health issued a new public health order that supersedes previous State Health Officer Orders (including the orders of August 28, 2020; July 13, 2020; May 7, 2020; and March 19, 2020). This new order sets the stage for Beyond the Blueprint for a Safer Economy and allows our communities to get much closer to a pre-pandemic reality.
What does the State Public Health Officer Order require?
All individuals must follow the requirements in the Guidance for the Use of Face Coverings.
All individuals must follow the requirements for Mega Events in the Beyond the Blueprint for Industries and Business Sectors issued by the California Department of Public Health.
All individuals must continue to follow the requirements in the current COVID-19 Public Health Guidance for K-12 Schools in California, the current COVID-19 Public Health Guidance for Child Care Programs and Providers, and the portions of the current K-12 Schools guidance that have been made explicitly applicable to day camps and other supervised youth activities.
The California Department of Public Health will continue to offer public health recommendations and guidance related to COVID-19. However, aside from the mandatory guidance referenced in the three bullets above, the other public health guidance related to COVID-19, issued by the California Department of Public Health, will not be mandatory. Instead, they will represent the Department's best recommendations for preventing the spread of COVID-19 based on the scientific evidence and epidemiological data.
What is the Legal Authority for the State and Local Orders Issued in Response to the Pandemic?
The State’s Health Order, issued June 11, 2021, lists the California Health and Safety Code provisions that authorize the California Department of Public Health to take action necessary to protect public health. (California Health & Safety Code Sections 120125, 120140, 120175, 120195 and 131080.) Additional authority is provided by Governor Newsom’s Executive Orders N-25-20 and N-60-20, which were issued pursuant to the Emergency Services Act, California Government Code Section 8550 et seq. Local Health Orders issued by the Marin County Health Officer are issued pursuant to California Health and Safety Code Sections 101040, 101085, and 120175.