County of Marin - News Releases - Shelter-in-Place Reminder

For Immediate Release
March 21, 2020

Visitors Pack Coastal Marin Despite Order

Public Health authorities urge that now is not the time to visit

San Rafael, CA – The Marin County Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is urging Bay Area residents not to travel beyond their communities as they engage in outdoor activities during the statewide shelter-in-place order.

On Saturday, March 21, Marin County’s coastal communities saw an unusual influx of visitors – residents from around the Bay Area – amassing for the purpose of being outdoors. According to the Marin County Sheriff’s Office, the visitors created traffic congestion which interferes with first responders ability to handle emergencies. In addition, state and county park parking lots and bathrooms are closed due to the shelter in place order, adding to further congestion and creating problems with sanitation.

“Marin is usually a place for recreation, but now is not the time,” said Dr. Lisa Santora, Marin’s Deputy Public Health Officer. “Congregating in these popular areas makes the shelter-in-place order less effective and continues to put all of our counties at risk of COVID-19 spread.”

Marin’s shelter-in-place order went into effect March 16 along with six other Bay Area jurisdictions, and Governor Gavin Newsom followed with a statewide stay-at-home directive on March 18.

“We’re all having to make hard choices and sacrifices – for the time being — as we all shelter at home,” Santora said. “We’re asking people not to travel distances to access our beaches. Let’s recreate and get fresh air closer to home.”

Marin County Public Health reminds Marin residents and visitors to:

·       Stay local. Many local neighborhoods are walkable or have trails and parks nearby that are easily accessed by foot or bicycle. Avoid driving  whenever possible, and stay close to home when enjoying fresh air and outdoor activity. 

·       Continue to practice social distancing. It’s tempting to meet with friends for a day at the beach, but to prevent the spread of COVID-19 everyone needs to be at least 6 feet away from others when outside the household. 

Marin’s shelter-in-place order limits activity, travel and business functions to only the most essential needs. The guidance comes after substantial input from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and best practices from other health officials around the world.

Answers to frequently asked questions can be found on Public Health’s webpage.


Brenton Schneider
Marin County Sheriff's Office

1600 Los Gamos Drive
San Rafael, CA 94903
Email: Brenton Schneider
Sheriff-Coroner website