PictureMarin County Public Health Officer Matt Willis.

It’s the topic of conversation all over Mill Valley, Marin County and beyond: how will we know when we are ready to take the next steps towards a safe, measured reopening, bolstering a ravaged local economy and providing a much-needed jolt to a community in crisis?

Marin County Public Health Officer Matt Willis unveiled a new dashboard this week that he hopes will go a long way toward establishing transparency around the four key indicators of “our progress against the measurable goals that will dictate when and how we move onto the next phase of reopening,” Willis said.

Since before the first shelter In place went into effect on March 17, County of Marin officials tied themselves to a consortium of six other Bay Area counties and the City of Berkeley. Willis told the Marin County Board of Supervisors this week that the strategy has continued to make sense because “we’re different than the counties to the north” like Sonoma and Napa and more similar to the more urban counties along the Hwy. 101 corridor. Willis acknowledged that he wont hesitate to diverge from the consortium of counties if Marin’s data did so.

The for key indicators, as described by Willis, are:

  • COVID-19 cases and the number of hospitalized patients for COVID-19, which impacts hospital capacity.
  • Testing capacity. The County has set a goal of 500 tests on average per day, and has reached that goal countywide, Willis said.
  • Contact tracing, i.e., the proportion of people who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 “that we’re able to reach within 24 hours so that they diagnosed and successfully isolated.”
  • Having at least a 30-day access to PPP (personal protective equipment like masks and face shields, which Marin’s three major hospitals currently do.

“Our commitment is to be data-driven and transparent in our response,” Willis said. “Everyone is interested in forecasting the future, but we’re not always in the driver’s seat. We’re really making our best effort to move forward safely. We haven’t seen any surges since we made the previous changes.”

The next phase – the opening for curbside pickup for retailers on May 18 – will take time to see if incidents of disease increase, he said.

​Here’s the video In which Dr. Matt Willis describes those key Indicators: