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
September 25, 2023 Update: Marin County, alongside other Bay Area counties will be instituting a mask requirement in hospitals and skilled nursing facilities for the winter virus season, November 1 thru March 31. The intent of the order is to help protect staff and patients in these highest-risk settings when RSV, influenza, and COVID are all actively circulating. We are in dialogue with hospitals and skilled nursing facilities to finalize the order and it will be released before the end of September.
- 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
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.