County of Marin - News Releases - Face Coverings

For Immediate Release
October 29, 2021

Indoor Face Covering Mandate To Lift in Public Places

Public Health strongly urges continued practice to limit COVID-19 transmission

San Rafael, CA – Marin County Public Health will lift a local mask mandate, which required everyone to wear face coverings in indoor public places, effective at noon Monday, November 1.

The mandate was put in place August 2 as part of a Bay Area-wide public health response to the surge in cases related to the Delta variant. 

On October 7, the same Bay Area counties established common criteria for lifting county-level mask mandates, recognizing counties would achieve those benchmarks at different intervals based on local numbers.

Marin County met the three criteria on October 29:

  1. Marin’s overall vaccination rate is above 80%.
  2. Hospitalizations have declined and remained low.
  3. Marin has maintained 21 consecutive days of moderate (“yellow”) level data on the CDC’s Community Transmission Tracker.

Marin County Public Health Officer Dr. Matt Willis said he will continue to strongly urge residents to keep wearing masks indoors.

“Face covering has been and will remain a critical tool for preventing spread of the virus,” Willis said. “The mandate helped get us through the fourth wave, but as the local picture improves, we’re shifting from a legal mandate to local recommendation. This is part of the process of tiptoeing back toward normalcy.”

Marin’s change does not impact face covering requirements issued by the State of California including for unvaccinated individuals, school settings, businesses, or organizations requiring face coverings by policy. In addition, some businesses may choose to continue requiring face coverings indoors for everyone, including those who are vaccinated. For example, Marin County Board of Supervisors will require face coverings for all in-person participants, regardless of vaccination status, beginning at its first hybrid board meeting Tuesday, November 2.

Residents are asked to continue respecting those requirements by carrying and being prepared to wear face covering while in public.

Since vaccinations first became widely available in January 2021, Marin has become one of the most COVID-vaccinated counties in the United States. As of October 28, 93.4% of the Marin population over age 12 – more than 222,000 people – had completed a COVID-19 vaccination series. However, approximately 47,000 individuals in Marin have not completed a vaccine series or remain unvaccinated (including young children).

“High vaccination rates, and understanding the value of face covering, has made to possible to begin to lift restrictions,” Willis said. “I’m confident our community knows what to do to limit COVID-19 risk. To be more secure coming onto the winter months, we need to continue to use face coverings in places of higher risk and gain even higher vaccination rates. Remember, masks work both ways: they protect you and the people around you, including those who are too young and not eligible yet to be vaccinated.”

Safe, free, and effective COVID-19 vaccines are available to everyone age 12 and up. Marin County Public Health anticipates vaccinating children 5-11 years old as early as next week, as federal authorization continues to move forward. Book an appointment or find a nearby clinic on

Resources for Businesses:

Marin businesses can use the following signs in their establishments to reflect updated indoor mask policies when the local order lifts at noon Monday, November 1.

For businesses operating in line with State of California policies:

For businesses that wish to maintain universal masking policies for all people indoors, including those who are vaccinated:


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