Now it’s Marin’s turn – can we avoid the COVID-19 drama of the past few months, continue to take the preventative measures we’re all well aware of and make progress toward a safe, measured reopening as vaccine distribution continues to rise?
It’s looking pretty good so far. Marin County Public Health Officer Dr. Matt Willis told the Marin County Board of Supervisors this week that new cases per 100,000 residents and the percentage of positive tests continue to put Marin on target to move into the less restrictive red Tier 2 within the state’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy by the middle of February.
The red tier would allow a broader reopening that includes indoor dining at 25% percent capacity, an expansion for retails shops to 50% capacity and 10% indoor density for gyms and fitness families, among others. Mill Valley restaurants have specifically planned for a small amount of indoor dining by redesigning their indoor spaces to allow for safer distances between employees, and they’ve deployed commercial air filters to manipulate air flow to avoid aerosol-based disease transmission.
That expected progress is bolstered by the county’s continued progress, despite a meager supply of vaccine via the federal and state governments, of vaccine distribution to more than more than 48,000 vaccines to date as of Feb. 11. Approximately 13%, or one in eight residents, have been vaccinated, Willis said this week.
The county will expand the pool of people eligible for coronavirus vaccines to Marin’s approximately 33,000 residents 65 and older beginning next week, Willis added. For the most part, the county has limited vaccine to healthcare workers, and is nearly done vaccinating that group, as well as the roughly 25,000 Marin residents 75 and older, in addition to people living in senior care centers.
Willis also noted that he expected to open a drive-up coronavirus vaccination site as early as Feb. 21. “We are finalizing an agreement with a large centrally located point of dispensing as a drive-thru that could accommodate up to 1,500 vaccinations per day,” Willis told the supervisors. “Drive-thru sites are emerging as a best practice for mass vaccination. We had one of the first and most successful drive-thru testing sites at the Marin Center.”