If Marin is going be ready to make the “paradigm” shift of a full, tier-less  reopening on June 15, per Gov. Gavin Newsom’s plan, we’ve got some work to do.

A sense of growing excitement had permeated Marin in the previous two weeks after Marin County Public Health Officer Dr. Matt Willis told the Board of Supervisors that Marin could move into the less restrictive yellow tier as soon as April 20. But a proper reminder that we are nowhere near out of the woods dropped on our doorstep again this week, when the State of California confirmed that Marin County would remain in Tier 3 or “orange” status in the statewide Blueprint for a Safer Economy framework a while longer. While Marin met one metric of advancing by being in the current tier for a minimum of three weeks, it fell short of the criteria for the next less restrictive yellow tier for the prior two consecutive weeks. 

The reasons were something akin to too much of a good thing: Marin has among lowest case rates in the state and among the highest vaccination rates in the state. Because of that success, fewer people are seeking COVID-19 tests, and Marin doesn’t get credit in the state’s algorithm for testing since our testing is dropping. 

County officials says there isn’t much we can do about that statistical technicality at the moment, other than continue to avoid indoor gatherings and wear a mask and socially distance when appropriate. But one thing county officials do think will move the needly in a positive direction is expanding vaccine distribution to kids ages 12-15, which is expected to begin as soon as May 14.

For now, Marin remains in the orange tier.

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