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COVID: Marin County Lifting Indoor Mask Mandate In Public Places November 1 - 'Tiptoeing Back Toward Normalcy'

MARIN COUNTY (CBS SF) – The health officer in Marin County announced that the indoor mask mandate for most public places will be lifted November 1, but still highly recommends them to limit the spread of COVID-19.

"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," health officer Dr. Matt Willis said in a statement on Friday.

Willis said that Marin County has become the first to reach the three criteria Bay Area counties agreed upon last month to lift indoor mask mandates, which were reinstated over the summer due to the Delta variant surge. As of Friday, the county's vaccination rate is above 80% for all residents, hospitalizations have declined and remained low, and that COVID-19 transmission has remained moderate under CDC guidelines for 21 consecutive days.

Earlier this month, the county eased masking rules for some indoor spaces where all in attendance have offered proof of full vaccination, such as offices and gyms.

Under the revised health order, which goes into effect at noon on Monday, masking indoors will no longer be required in spaces such as restaurants, bars and retail establishments. Face covering requirements issued by the State of California and federal government remain in effect for the unvaccinated, for schools, medical settings and public transit.

The health officer also said individual establishments still reserve the right to mandate masks for all regardless of vaccination status. For instance, masks will be required at the first hybrid meeting of the Marin County Board of Supervisors, which is scheduled for Tuesday.

Willis urged residents to continue carrying a mask with them while in public, saying they remain an important tool to slow the spread of the virus.

"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," he said.

As federal officials authorize vaccines for kids who are 5-11 years old, Marin County said they anticipate vaccinating children in the coming days. About 47,000 of the county's residents have not completed a vaccine series or remain unvaccinated, a figure that includes young children.

Residents seeking a COVID-19 vaccine can visit to find information on the vaccine and nearby clinics.

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