San Rafael, CA – Marin County residents are allowed to use reusable bags for shopping again.
Marin County Public Health has updated its Appendix A of the most recent shelter-in-place order related to the COVID-19 public health emergency. Revised language says customers may bring reusable bags to a store as long as they carry them or leave them in a shopping cart or basket and bag their own items after checkout.
A local ban on the use of reusable bags was first installed on March 31 as a precaution to limit the spread of COVID-19. Bags are considered high-touch items unless shoppers handle their own bagging. Recent studies have shown that virus transmission through reusable bags is a much lower risk than originally believed, and the risk is even lower if shoppers are the only ones to touch the bags. Most Bay Area counties have removed temporary bans on reusable bags during the public health emergency.
Appendix A – also referred to as a Social Distancing Policy, or Site-Specific Protection Plan (SPP) – provides clear guidance for local businesses about how to provide a safe, clean environment for employees and customers. Each business must have a SPP in place to demonstrate compliance with local, state, or statewide public health policies.
The Marin County Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) remains the authority for local COVID-19 case data and medical information.