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
Although the state indoor masking mandate lifted as of February 16, 2022, which required universal indoor masking regardless of vaccination status, CDPH face covering guidance remains in effect. Masks continue to be strongly recommended for all individuals, regardless of vaccination status, in all indoor public spaces.
Additionally, everyone must wear masks in the following settings, regardless of vaccination status:
- Health Care Settings
- Long-term care facilities
- Homeless shelters
- State and local correctional facilities and detention centers
- Read CDPH's Face Covering Guidance
- Mask and face covering information
- Frequently Asked Questions: Mask Use
- PDF: Printable "Marin County Public Health strongly recommends everyone wear a mask indoors, regardless of vaccination status" signs in English and Spanish
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 Vaccination of Law Enforcement, Fire and EMS personnel in higher-risk settings
Date of order: February 9, 2022
Date of updated and amended order: April 14, 2022
Date of rescission: August 22, 2022
This Order requiring the Vaccination of Law Enforcement, Fire, and Emergency Medical Services Personnel in Higher-Risk Settings was rescinded effective August 22, 2022.
This Order required that all Law Enforcement, Fire, and EMS personnel who work in Higher-Risk Settings or routinely interact with the public to be Fully Vaccinated and strongly recommends they obtain boosters when they become eligible. Unvaccinated first responders will need to receive their first dose of the COVID vaccine by March 1 and complete their primary series no later than April 15. Starting April 15, first responders who are not fully vaccinated will be prohibited from entering higher-risk settings or interacting with the public in the course of their work unless they have a qualifying exemption. This order goes into effect at 12:01 AM on Friday, April 15.
Rationale: Individuals working in higher-risk settings (1) can expose highly vulnerable individuals who are at increased risk of severe illness and death, (2) must be protected from COVID-19 to the maximum extent possible to ensure adequate staffing in these critical settings, and (3) in the case of jails, shelters, and skilled nursing facilities, can cause large outbreaks if infected. Additionally, Law Enforcement, Fire, and EMS personnel who routinely interact with the public must also be protected from COVID-19 to the maximum extent possible. Law Enforcement, Fire, and EMS personnel interact with the public in a variety of high-risk and often vulnerable situations, including providing medical care, intervening in high-conflict situations, and managing crowds or other large groups of people. In these situations, members of the public may not be wearing face coverings and may not be vaccinated.
- Health Order
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Vaccine References (April 12, 2022) [PDF]
- News Release
- Presentation to First Responders (Feb. 15, 2022) [PDF]
- Vaccine Opportunities
- Testing Opportunities
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 Tuesday, March 1, 2022.
- 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 - "Beyond the Blueprint"
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.
Other State Orders
- Healthcare Worker Vaccine Requirement and FAQ (Booster deadline extended to March 1, 2022)
- Adult Care Facilities and Direct Care Worker Vaccine Requirement and FAQ (Booster deadline extended to March 1, 2022)
- State and Local Correctional Facilities and Detention Centers Health Care Worker Vaccination Requirement and FAQ (Booster deadline extended to March 1, 2022)
- State Health Officer Order for Requirements for Visitation
- State Public Health Officer Order - Isolation and Quarantine of the General Public
- Guidance for Use of Face Coverings
- State Health Officer Order for Vaccination Providers
- State Public Health Officer Order - Hospital and Health Care System Surge
- State Public Health Officer Order - Vaccine Verification for Workers in Schools
- Order of the State Public Health Officer - Unvaccinated Workers In High-Risk Settings
- View All California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Orders
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.