Marin County Public Health Officer Dr. Matt Willis told the Board of Supervisors this week that Marin continues to lead the state in vaccination rates – 82 percent of eligible residents have received at least one dose of the vaccine – the flip side of that success is that there is much less COVID-19 testing happening, a metric that counts against the county’s ability to continue proceeding through the statewide Blueprint for a Safer Economy.
The reduced testing numbers give Marin a less generous adjusted case rate of 2.1, above the 2.0 we’d need to meet to move into yellow.
Willis reiterated his support for the decision by Dr. Mark Ghaly, California’s Health and Human Services secretary, to wait to follow the CDC’s recommendation earlier this month that it was safe for fully vaccinated people to go without masks in most places, whether outdoors or inside. Ghaly urged residents to wait until June 15, the planned shift away from the Blueprint framework, before implementing the new guidelines to give residents more time to receive their vaccine shots and businesses and workers time to prepare for the change.
“This was the right call,” Marin County Public Health Officer Dr. Matt Willis told the IJ. “Even in Marin with our high vaccination rates it seemed too early to relax regulations for indoor facial coverings. It just feels premature to lift the facial covering requirement when with every day that passes we have 1 or 2 more percent of our population reaching full immunity.”
At that time, “we will revert to a wider set of principles of safe practices that are still being defined but will be much broader and focus on personal choice and understanding of personal risk and risks for those around you,” Willis said. In the meantime,
if you are fully vaccinated, you don’t need to wear your mask outdoors at all unless you are in a crowd. If you’re not yet vaccinated, continue to cover your face, whether you are inside or not. And even if you are vaccinated, if you’re inside around people who are not, cover your face.”
For now, Marin remains in the orange tier.