All systems are set for Marin to join the rest of California in withdrawing the Blueprint for a Safer Economy, the state’s COVID-19 restrictions system, on June 15.
While Marin has the ability to be more restrictive than the state, he has rarely done so and has no plans to do so now, said Dr Matt Willis, the county’s public health official.
“We will move forward with the state,” he said.
For weeks now, Marin has been trying to reduce his infection rate enough to reach the least restrictive yellow level in the state system. The county finally got it right on Tuesday, but after June 15 that won’t matter as the tier system will be kaput.
“There will be a common statewide approach,” said Willis. “There will be no capacity limits or social distancing requirements in most public places. There will be a lot less regulation and more personal choice. “
This means that there are no longer any limits on how many clients a business can serve indoors and no longer need clients to stay 6 feet apart.
Notable exceptions will be “mega events” involving more than 5,000 indoor or 10,000 outdoor participants. A vaccine check or negative test will be required at Indoor Mega Events and will be recommended for Outdoor Mega Events.
The rules governing schools and health facilities will also remain unchanged, at least for now. Residents of Marin will always be advised to follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations for travel.
The Marin County Fair, which was reportedly held from June 30 to July 4, was reportedly called a mega event. Crowds of 25,000 to 30,000 people per day usually attend the fair.
The county decided in April to cancel the fair in person and go online for another consecutive year.
“Our decision was certainly related to security, but it was also because we didn’t have the resources at the time. We still don’t, ”said Gabriella Calicchio, director of the county’s cultural services department.
Calicchio said most of his staff had been turned away to help with the county’s emergency response to the pandemic.
On June 15, Marin and the rest of the state will also adopt face covering guidelines that the CDC released on May 13. This recommendation is that fully immune people no longer need to wear a mask or physical distance in any setting.
Marin’s businesses, which have seen restrictions loosen and then tighten when case rates have risen in the past, are not rushing so far to capitalize on the virtual elimination of restrictions on June 15.
“What I hear is that employers are still deciding what it means to them,” said Joanne Webster, general manager of the San Rafael Chamber of Commerce. “They are now meeting with their teams to try to decide what is best for their business. “
Jeff Scharosch, one of the owners of the Spinnaker restaurant in Sausalito, said he took a wait-and-see approach.
“We can still keep some extra space between tables at short notice,” said Scharosch, “because when customers come back some are a little leery. We want to make sure they feel comfortable.
Scharosch said the Spinnaker will also continue to offer meals outside, which he initiated as a safety measure during the pandemic.
“For us it’s a new niche market,” said Scharosch. “We get a lot of people with dogs, a younger demographic than before. We want to make sure we maintain that demographics.
Governor Gavin Newsom on Thursday announced the state would extend regulatory relief that allowed restaurants to expand patio service and sell takeout alcohol with an order until the end of the year. of food. Newsom said the extent to which parklets remain will depend on individual cities.
One of the biggest question marks was what happened on June 15 regarding the workplace regulations of the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health, or Cal / OSHA. Willis said Marin’s businesses were anxious to know if they can require their employees to be vaccinated and how they are supposed to implement the recommendation that customers should wear masks indoors if they have not been vaccinated. .
Californians will have to remain masked at work until early next year – at least if they have unvaccinated colleagues, state regulators ruled Thursday.
The new rules require that employees, even those who have been vaccinated, continue to wear masks indoors if they are near other workers who have not received the COVID-19 vaccine. If everyone is vaccinated, the masks can come off. The new rules do not specify how employers should check the immunization status of their workers.
“We should follow the science,” said Rollie Katz, executive director of the Marin Association of Public Employees before the Cal / OSHA decision. “There is a risk of having an ‘honor system’ regarding people who have been vaccinated, so it is reasonable to consider reasonable means to ensure that workers are protected.”
Santa Clara County is asking employers to determine the immunization status of their employees and to monitor it on an ongoing basis. New York State has instituted a digital “vaccine passport”.
Willis said neither California nor Marin had plans for a vaccination passport, but advised people to keep their vaccination records because private companies might seek to verify their vaccination status.
“We recognize that it is not practical to check vaccine status at the door for everyone entering a facility,” said Willis. “At the end of the day, it’s going to be based on an honor system.”
Willis said he was confident Marin’s willingness to go beyond the state’s plan due to the county’s high vaccination rate. Marin is the county in the United States with the highest percentage of its citizens vaccinated.
“We should be above 90% by June 15 among those eligible,” he said. “It will make us all safer. “
Bay Area News Group contributed to this report.