ORDER OF THE HEALTH OFFICER
OF THE COUNTY OF MARIN ESTABLISHING
MANDATORY RISK REDUCTION MEASURES APPLICABLE TO ALL ACTIVITIES AND SECTORS TO ADDRESS THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC
DATE OF ORDER: October 27, 2020
Please read this Order carefully. Violation of or failure to comply with this Order is a misdemeanor punishable by fine, imprisonment, or both. (California Health and Safety Code § 120295, et seq.; Cal. Penal Code §§ 69, 148(a)(1).)
UNDER THE AUTHORITY OF CALIFORNIA HEALTH AND SAFETY CODE SECTIONS 101040, 101085, AND 120175, THE HEALTH OFFICER OF THE COUNTY OF MARIN (“HEALTH OFFICER”) ORDERS:
- Purpose and Intent.
- This Order (hereinafter “Order” or “Risk-Reduction Order”) rescinds and supersedes the May 15, 2020 Order of the Health Officer directing all individuals to shelter in place (“Prior Order”), as of the effective date and time set forth in Section 14 below. On August 28, 2020, the State of California issued the Blueprint for a Safer Economy, a new tiered system which classifies counties into tiers based on COVID-19 transmission rate and related metrics. Under the Blueprint system, the extent to which businesses and activities may operate is governed by the County’s tier, as designated by the State. This Risk-Reduction Order incorporates the State’s Blueprint framework, associated orders, and guidance. COVID-19 continues to pose a severe risk to residents of our County, and significant safety measures are necessary to protect against a surge in COVID-19 cases and deaths. This Order requires risk reduction measures to be in place across all business sectors and activities, ensuring necessary precautions are followed as we adapt the way we live and function in light of the ongoing threat that the virus poses. The Health Officer will continue to monitor data regarding and evolving scientific understanding of the risks posed by COVID-19 and may amend or rescind this Order based on analysis of that data and knowledge. As of the effective date of this Order set forth in Section 14 below, all individuals, businesses, and government agencies in the County are required to follow the provisions of this Order.
- The primary intent of this Order is to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission in the County. All provisions of this Order must be interpreted to effectuate this intent. Failure to comply with any of the provisions of this Order constitutes an imminent threat and menace to public health, constitutes a public nuisance, and is punishable by fine, imprisonment, or both.
- The efforts taken beginning in March 2020 under the prior shelter-in-place orders of the Health Officer, along with those of health officers of five neighboring counties, slowed the virus’s trajectory. While the public health emergency and threat to the County’s population remain severe, the region has significantly increased its capacity to detect cases, contain spread, and treat infected patients through widespread testing; greatly expanded case investigation and contact tracing program and workforce; and expanded hospital resources and capacity. As we continue to evolve our strategies for protecting residents of the County from COVID-19, we must take into account both the trajectory of the virus in the County and across the region, and the increased health risks associated with the opening of many Businesses and activities under the Prior Order. To protect the community from COVID-19, we must ensure that when people engage in activities they are doing so as safely as possible.
- The restrictions set forth in this Order are based on evidence of continued significant community transmission of COVID-19 within the County; scientific evidence and best practices regarding the most effective approaches to slow the transmission of communicable diseases generally and COVID-19 specifically; evidence that the age, condition, and health of a significant portion of the population of the County places it at risk for serious health complications, including death, from COVID-19; and further evidence that others, including younger and otherwise healthy people, are also at risk for serious negative outcomes and can also spread COVID-19 to more vulnerable people. Because even people without symptoms can transmit the infection, and because evidence shows the infection is easily spread, direct or indirect interpersonal interactions can result in preventable transmission of the virus.
- The scientific evidence shows that, at this stage of the pandemic, it remains essential to maintain limitations and conditions to slow virus transmission to help: (a) protect the most vulnerable; (b) prevent the health care system from being overwhelmed; (c) prevent long-term chronic health conditions associated with COVID-19, such as cardiovascular, kidney, and respiratory damage and loss of limbs from blood clotting; and (d) prevent deaths. These limitations and conditions are necessary to slow the spread of the COVID-19 disease, preserving health care capacity in the County and advancing toward a point in the current public health emergency where transmission can be controlled.
- Applicability. All individuals, businesses, and other entities in the County are ordered to comply with the applicable provisions of this Order. For clarity, individuals who do not currently reside in the County must comply with all applicable requirements of the Order when they are in the County. Governmental entities are urged to follow the requirements of this Order applicable to businesses, but governmental entities and their contractors are not required to follow these requirements to the extent that such requirements would impede or interfere with an essential governmental function, as determined by the governmental entity, unless otherwise specifically directed by the Health Officer.
- Incorporation of Emergency Proclamations and State Orders.
- This Risk Reduction Order is issued in accordance with, and incorporates by reference, the March 4, 2020 Proclamation of a State of Emergency issued by Governor Gavin Newsom; the March 3, 2020 Proclamation by the Assistant Director of Emergency Services Declaring the Existence of a Local Emergency in the County; the March 3, 2020 Declaration of Local Health Emergency Regarding Novel Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) issued by the Health Officer, and the March 10, 2020 Resolution of the Board of Supervisors of the County of Marin Ratifying and Extending the Proclamation of a Local Health Emergency.
- This Order is also issued in light of the March 19, 2020 Order of the State Public Health Officer (the “State Shelter Order”), which set baseline statewide restrictions on non-residential business activities, effective until further notice; the Governor’s March 19, 2020 Executive Order N-33-20 directing California residents to follow the State Shelter Order; the Governor’s May 4, 2020 Executive Order N-60-20; the May 7, 2020 Order of the State Public Health Officer allowing local jurisdictions to begin phased reopening; the July 13, 2020 State Public Health Officer Order requiring the closure of certain businesses and sectors in certain counties, including the County, and the State’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy issued on August 28, 2020. The May 4, 2020 Executive Order and May 7, 2020 Order of the State Public Health Officer expressly acknowledge that local health officers have authority to establish and implement public health measures within their respective jurisdictions that are more restrictive than those implemented by the State Public Health Officer.
- Obligation to Follow Stricter Order. Where a conflict exists between this Order and any order issued by the State Public Health Officer or the Governor related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the most restrictive provision controls. For clarity, all individuals and entities must comply with the State Shelter Order, any mandatory guidance issued by the California Department of Public Health, any mandatory orders of the Governor, or any other mandatory provision of State law to the extent it is stricter than any provision of this Order. Consistent with California Health and Safety Code section 131080 and the Health Officer Practice Guide for Communicable Disease Control in California, except where the State Health Officer may issue an order expressly directed at this Order and based on a finding that a provision of this Order constitutes a menace to public health, any more restrictive measures in this Order continue to apply and control in this County..
- Obligation to Follow Health Officer Guidance and Mandatory State Guidance. In addition to complying with all provisions of this Order, all individuals and entities, including all businesses and governmental entities, must also follow any applicable industry specific guidance issued by the County Health Officer, available at marinrecovers.com and attached Appendices, and any applicable “COVID-19 Industry Guidance” issued by the California Department of Public Health, available at https://covid19.ca.gov/industry-guidance/. To the extent that provisions in the guidance of the County Health Officer and the guidance of the State Health Officer conflict, the more restrictive provisions apply.
- For purposes of this Order, a “business” includes any for-profit, non-profit, or educational entity, whether a corporate entity, organization, partnership, or sole proprietorship, and regardless of the nature of the service, the function it performs, or its corporate or entity structure. For clarity, “business” also includes a for-profit, nonprofit, or educational entity performing services or functions under contract with a governmental agency.
- For purposes of this Order, “personnel” means the following individuals who provide goods or services or perform operations associated with a business in the County: employees; contractors and sub-contractors (such as those who sell goods or perform services onsite or who deliver goods for the business); independent contractors (such as “gig workers” who perform work via the business’s application or other online interface); vendors who are permitted to sell goods onsite; volunteers; and other individuals who regularly provide services onsite at the request of the business.
- Staying Home Is the Best Way to Reduce Risk. All people are strongly reminded that continuing to stay home as much as possible is the best way to prevent the risk of COVID-19 transmission, and therefore trips and activities outside the home should be minimized. All activities that involve contact with people outside of one’s household increase the risk of transmission of COVID-19. Older adults (those age 65 or older) and individuals with serious underlying medical conditions (including immunocompromised state, chronic kidney disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, obesity, serious heart conditions, sickle cell disease, and diabetes) are especially encouraged to minimize activities and interactions with people outside their household to the extent practicable.
- Social Distancing Requirements. When in the presence of individuals from other households, including when outside of their household, all individuals should to the maximum extent possible adhere to “Social Distancing Requirements,” except to provide necessary care to others (including childcare, adult or senior care, care to individuals with special needs, and patient care) or as otherwise expressly allowed in this Risk Reduction Order or State guidelines. Activities that cannot be conducted while maintaining Social Distancing Requirements may be conducted only in compliance with specific directives of the State or County Health Officer establishing the protocols that must be followed in order to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 when conducting those specific activities. Social distancing requirements, unless otherwise indicated by State or County protocols or guidance, include the following:
- Maintaining at least six feet of social distance from individuals who are not part of their household;
- Frequently washing their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or using hand sanitizer that is recognized by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as effective in combatting COVID-19;
- Covering their coughs and sneezes with a tissue or fabric or, if not possible, into their sleeve or elbow (but not into hands);
- Wearing a face covering as required by the April 17, 2020 Order of the Health Officer Requiring Face Covering (“Face Covering Order”) and the June 18, 2020 California Department of Public Health’s mandatory Guidance for the Use of Face Coverings (“Face Covering Guidance”) located at https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/CDPH%20Document%20Library/COV… ; and
- Avoiding all contact with anyone outside their household when sick with a fever, cough, or other COVID-19 symptoms.
- Face Coverings. Face coverings must be worn at all times and by all individuals as specified in the Face Covering Order and Face Covering Guidance and in accordance with any additional directives issued by the State or County. Further, all individuals must wear face coverings at all times when inside a business facility or using public transportation. For clarity, a face covering is not required when a person is in a personal office (a single, fully enclosed room) when others outside of that person’s household are not present as long as the public does not regularly visit the room; a personal office does not include a cubicle. Further, individuals under age two, individuals who have been advised by a healthcare professional that they should not wear a face covering because they have a medical condition that would make wearing a face covering dangerous, and individuals who are hearing impaired or communicating with someone who is hearing impaired, do not need to wear a face covering.
- Limitations on Gatherings.
- Gatherings are defined as social situations that bring together people from different households at the same time in a single space or place. When people from different households mix, this increases the risk of transmission of COVID-19. For clarity, a gathering does not include normal operations in: classrooms; areas where people may be in transit; or settings in which people are in the same general space at the same time but engaged in separate activities, including, by way of example, medical offices, hospitals, or business environments like offices, stores, and restaurants where people may be working, shopping, or eating in the same general area but are not gathering together in an organized fashion. A gathering also does not include internal meetings exclusively involving personnel of a single business because those activities are subject to separate provisions of this Order and Health Officer guidance.
- Gatherings may occur only to the extent permitted and in strict compliance with the State Department of Public Health (CDPH) Guidance for Private Gatherings issued on October 9, 2020 located at: https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/COVID-19/CDPH-Guidance-… and any subsequent guidance issued by CDPH or the Health Officer on private gatherings. Other gatherings not covered by State or local guidance or subsequent guidance are prohibited.
- Requirements Applicable to All Businesses.
- Businesses Permitted to Reopen. All businesses permitted to operate in the County’s designated Blueprint tier, as determined by the State, may operate. Marin County’s tier status can be found at https://covid19.ca.gov/safer-economy/. All business operations are subject to the State’s industry-specific guidance for reopening, available at https://covid19.ca.gov/industry-guidance/, and subject to the requirements and limitations of this Order, unless otherwise prohibited by Appendix C.
- Site-Specific Protection Plan. For the purposes of this Order, all businesses that are operating at facilities in the County visited or used by the public or personnel must, as a condition of such operation, prepare and post a “Site-Specific Protection Plan” for each of these facilities; provided, however, that construction activities shall instead comply with the Construction Project Safety Protocols set forth in Appendix B and not the Site-Specific Protection Plan. The Site-Specific Protection Plan must be substantially in the form attached to this Order as Appendix A. The Site-Specific Protection Plan must be posted at or near the entrance of the relevant facility, and shall be easily viewable by the public and personnel. All businesses shall implement the Site-Specific Protection Plan and provide evidence of its implementation to any authority enforcing this Order upon demand.
- Mandatory Reporting Regarding Personnel Contracting COVID-19. Businesses and governmental entities must require that all personnel immediately alert the business or governmental entity if they test positive for COVID-19 and were present in the workplace within the 48 hours prior to onset of symptoms or within 48 hours of the date on which they were tested. In the event that a business or governmental entity learns that any of its personnel is a confirmed positive case of COVID-19 and the employee was at the workplace within 14 days prior to the date of the employee’s positive COVID-19 test, the business or governmental entity is required to report the positive case within four hours to the Public Health Department at 415-473-7191. Businesses and governmental entities must also comply with all case investigation and contact tracing measures by the County, including providing any information requested.
- Facilities that Must Remain Closed. Unless a business, industry, or sector is permitted to open based on the County’s tier designation in the State’s Blueprint system, it must remain closed. The reopening status of businesses in Marin County can be found at https://covid19.ca.gov/safer-economy/.
- Enforcement. Pursuant to Government Code sections 26602 and 41601, Health and Safety Code section 101029, and Marin County Code 7.99.01 et seq. [Marin County Ordinance No. 3738 (2020)] the Health Officer requests that the Sheriff, all chiefs of police in the County, and all enforcement officers ensure compliance with and enforce this Order. The violation of any provision of this Order constitutes an imminent threat and menace to public health, constitutes a public nuisance, and is punishable by fine, imprisonment, or both.
- Effective Date. This Order shall become effective October 27, 2020. This Order shall continue to be in effect until it is rescinded, superseded, or amended in writing by the Health Officer.
- Copies. Copies of this Order shall promptly be: (1) made available at the Bulletin Board adjacent to the entrance to the Chambers of the Board of Supervisors, Room 330, Administration Building, and in the display case in the center arch of the Hall of Justice, Marin County Civic Center, San Rafael, California; (2) posted on the County of Marin website (www.marincounty.org) as well as the County of Marin Department of Health and Human Services website (www.marinhhs.org); and (3) provided to any member of the public requesting a copy of this Order.
- Severability. If any provision of this Order or its application to any person or circumstance is held to be invalid, the remainder of the Order, including the application of such part or provision to other persons or circumstances, shall not be affected and shall continue in full force and effect. To this end, the provisions of this Order are severable.
IT IS SO ORDERED:
Matt Willis MD, MPH
Health Officer of the County of Marin
Dated: October 27, 2020
Attachments: Appendix A – Site-Specific Protection Plan Template