UPDATE 11.3.21: Marin County Public Health Officer Dr. Matt Willis reported today that the county has returned to the “orange” tier of infection risk, but that he has no plans to reinstate the health order requiring face masks indoors in public settings regardless of vaccination status.
Just three days removed from metrics that appeared to force Marin to wait at least three more weeks before it could lift its indoor mask mandate, those metrics took a sharply positive turn late last week. As a result, the mandate, in effect since August 2, was lifted effective today at 12pm, making Marin the first county in the Bay Area to stop requiring face coverings in nearly all public places.
County officials had previously announced the removal of mask restrictions in some indoor settings, including gyms, offices, carpool vehicles, religious gatherings and college classes, as long as no more than 100 people could be present, with all attendees fully vaccinated and the host or employer able to control access and maintain a list of the people present. The setting also could not be open to the general public.
To allow the mask mandate to be lifted, Marin had to meet criteria that included having at least 80% of the total population vaccinated, maintaining “moderate” disease transmission as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for three weeks, and reporting consistently low COVID hospitalizations.
The lifting of the mandate is far from no-holds barred. Face coverings are still required indoors regardless of vaccination status in the following settings: public transit; healthcare settings; K-12 schools; long-term care facilities; correctional facilities and detention centers; homeless shelters, emergency shelters and cooling centers; childcare, and other youth settings.
Face coverings are also still required for everyone who is not vaccinated in indoor public settings, and unvaccinated people in shared workplaces must continue to wear face coverings in accordance with CalOSHA regulations.
According to the state order, in settings where masks are required only for unvaccinated individuals, businesses, venue operators or hosts may choose to:
- Provide information to all patrons, guests and attendees regarding vaccination requirements and allow vaccinated individuals to self-attest that they are in compliance prior to entry; or
- Implement vaccine verification to determine whether individuals are required to wear a mask; or
- Require all patrons to wear masks.
No person can be prevented from wearing a mask as a condition of participation in an activity or entry into a business.