County of Marin - News Releases - Responsible Reopening

For Immediate Release
May 07, 2020

Marin, Other Jurisdictions Eye Responsible Reopening Plans

Progress must be maintained in fight against COVID-19 virus

The following is a joint statement from the counties of Marin, Alameda, Contra Costa, San Francisco, San Mateo, and Santa Clara and the City of Berkeley regarding local responses to the COVID-19 public health emergency.

The Bay Area health officers commend the residents and businesses who have made tremendous sacrifices to flatten the curve and protect community health in our region. We need to continue to work together so those sacrifices don’t go to waste. It is critical to maintain our gains. 

Bay Area counties value the Governor’s leadership and support during the coronavirus pandemic. Today, he issued guidance that spells out the state’s expectations for non-essential businesses to begin to reopen in a limited capacity. We will study this carefully. 

“In Marin, our goal is to reopen safely and thoughtfully," said Dr. Matt Willis, Marin's Public Health Officer. "We made significant changes this week. And we’re planning to open further in less than two weeks. We need time to assess the impact of the changes from this week to guide our path forward. We’re making real progress.”

It is important that our local communities understand that the regional health orders that took effect May 4 are still in effect. The orders – in Marin, Alameda, Contra Costa, San Francisco, San Mateo, and Santa Clara counties and the City of Berkeley – loosen restrictions on construction as well as outdoor activities and businesses. The Bay Area orders do not currently permit curbside pickup from non-essential, non-outdoor businesses, and that is not allowed to begin on Friday, May 8. 

Health officers will continue collaborating with local elected officials, community leaders, and business leaders to find ways to reopen more businesses and activities safely while sustaining the progress made to reduce the spread of the coronavirus. We appreciate that the Governor recognizes that California communities are impacted differently by coronavirus and can make decisions at the local level. In our current environment, if a county order differs from a state order, the more restrictive order takes precedence.

We will continue to study the indicators that tell us how the coronavirus is affecting our communities and amend the health orders as warranted in the best interest of community health. We share the urgency to reopen and restore our economies and our normal activities, and the equal importance of doing so in a way that is safe, responsible and does not cause a significant increase in serious illness and death, or overwhelm our healthcare delivery systems. 

The coronavirus pandemic is still well underway. Our communities will be dealing with it for a long time to come. We expect outbreaks to continue, especially among vulnerable populations. That is why we are building strong systems to protect our communities into the future. We will continue to watch the indicators with regard to sufficient testing, contact tracing and personal protective equipment. We will monitor new cases, hospitalizations and the health care system’s capacity to handle a surge of patients. We will continue to work with our community and business leaders to accomplish careful, measured progress that allows us to maintain our gains as we move forward to further reopening and better times ahead.


Dr. Matthew Willis
Public Health Officer
Health and Human Services

3240 Kerner Blvd.
San Rafael, CA 94901
(415) 473-4163
Email: Dr. Matthew Willis
Marin HHS website