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Emergency Update: Playgrounds, Blueprint Metrics, Red Flag Warnings, Voting, & More

Posted on October 2, 2020

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Earlier this week, the State released guidelines which allow playgrounds to reopen.  Public parks and playgrounds provide a critical shared outdoor resource for families. The guidance requires cities and towns to meet specific guidelines, like signage and capacity limits. We’re working to ensure our playgrounds are ready for safe play—playgrounds in City parks can be expected to reopen early next week.  The guidance does not allow for indoor playgrounds or family entertainment centers, which must remain closed.

For those planning to visit a playground next week, the guidance also lays out a specific set of  rules playground visitors must follow to maintain their health and safety.  Visitors must:

  1. Face masks over the mouth and nose are required for everyone 2 years of age or older with caregiver supervision at all times to ensure face mask use.
  2. Do not use the playground when different households are unable to maintain a physical distance of 6 feet or when the capacity limit has been reached.
  3. Caregivers must monitor to keep adults and children from different households at least 6 feet apart.
  4. Consider different times or days to avoid wait times and potential crowded times.
  5. No eating or drinking in the playground, to ensure face masks are worn at all times.
  6. Wash or sanitize hands before and after using the playground.
  7. Elderly and persons with underlying medical conditions should avoid playgrounds when others are present.
  8. Limit visits to 30-min per day when others are present .
  9. Do not visit a playground if you or your child are ill.

Health Equity Metric Applied to Blueprint Framework

On Wednesday, September 30, the State officially released details regarding a health equity metric that will be used to measure a county’s progress in fighting COVID-19.  The health equity metric will be used along with other metrics, such as case rate or testing positivity, to determine a county’s tier.

Equity is a major focus in Marin County, as COVID-19 continues to have a disproportionate impact on communities of color. Currently, approximately 67% of cases in Marin County are among our Latinx population.

To move to the next less restrictive tier (Tier 3 or orange status), Marin County will need to meet the new equity metric and/or demonstrate targeted investments to eliminate disparities in levels of transmission.

Policy issues and challenges 

Tune in to our YouTube channel at 7 p.m. for Monday evening’s City Council meeting to watch a special presentation from members of Canal Alliance, Legal Aid of Marin, Community Action Marin, and UC Berkeley about the pressing policy issues and challenges the Latinx community is facing due to the pandemic.

Maintaining Tier 2 Status Means Schools Can Reopen: Now What?

Marin’s consistent Tier 2 (red status) ranking for the past two weeks means K-12 schools are eligible for reopening at least some in-person instruction. This means schools no longer need to apply for a waiver through Marin Public Health (with approval from the State). However, all schools must complete a School Site-Specific Protection Plan, incorporating Marin County Public Health School GuidelinesState guidelines, and following CDPH’s School Re-opening Framework.

Does this mean all Marin County schools will reopen immediately?  

No. Individual schools and respective districts choose when, and at what pace, in-person classroom learning will resume. Some schools may choose to reopen as early as next week, and others have indicated they will reopen later in Fall.

Red Flag Warning Extended Through Saturday

Red Flag Warning was issued yesterday, October 1st and has been extended through 6 am. Saturday morning.

A red flag warning is an alert issued by the National Weather Service when:

  • winds are strong
  • the air is dry, and
  • moisture in vegetation is exceedingly low

There are already many active wildfires. Do your part to ensure new fires don’t start! ⁠⠀⁠

🚭Properly dispose of cigarette butts⁠
🚗Keep vehicles off dry grass ⁠⠀⁠
🚫Avoid activities with open flames or sparks ⁠⠀⁠
🏗️Avoid power equipment that creates sparks ⁠⠀⁠
🏕️Do not light campfires ⁠⠀⁠
🍁Do not burn vegetation/debris

Spare the Air

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District has issued a Spare the Air Alert for October 1st through October 6th due to wildfire smoke.  Expect Marin County’s AQI to remain in the Red or “Unhealthy” zone for the majority of this time period.

Smoke from wildfires can affect health. The most common symptoms are eye and throat irritation, coughing, and difficulty breathing. Those with health problems, especially heart or respiratory conditions, should take extra caution.

Follow these precautions to protect your health:

  • Minimize outdoor activities. Postpone/Reschedule intense outdoor cardio activities.
  • Stay indoors with windows and doors closed as much as possible.
  • Do not run fans that bring smoky outdoor air inside.
  • Run your air-conditioner only if it does not bring smoke in from the outdoors.
  • Avoid activities that create more indoor and outdoor air pollution, such as frying foods, sweeping, vacuuming, and using gas-powered appliances.
  • Consider leaving the area until smoke conditions improve if you experience symptoms related to smoke exposure.
  • Check on family, friends, and neighbors who may be sensitive to poor air quality and who spend much of their time alone.

Voting Checklist

Anxious about the November 3rd General Election? There are a number of ways voters can help to ensure a smooth election, mitigate public health risks, and reduce lines at Marin County polling places. Voting by mail is the safest way to cast a ballot during COVID-19 pandemic. If you vote in-person, wear a mask, stay 6-feet apart from others, and wash your hands before and after voting.

  • Check your voter registration status now to ensure your ballot is mailed to the correct address on October 5.
  • Register now if you are new to Marin County or an eligible voter for the first time. You can register online or call (415) 473-6456 to request a paper form.
  • Update the voter signature on file by re-registering or signing and returning the informational postcard recently mailed. All voters have a signature on file from when they registered to vote, so returning the postcard, although encouraged, is optional. Online voter registration will use a voter’s DMV signature.
  • Remember to sign the ballot return envelope with postage pre-paid. Voters will receive a letter if their signature is missing or does not match the voter registration form, but that delays ballot processing and extends the time it takes to certify an election.
  • Mail back the completed ballot as early as possible. If a voter prefers to hand deliver a completed ballot, there will be several secure drop boxes throughout the county. Ballot drop boxes will be available starting October 6 and a location list will be posted at
  • Sign up for a ballot tracking service at to receive automatic email, text, or voice call notifications about ballot status.



  • Sign up for PG&E’s new Power Shutoff notifications.
  • To report a business in violation of the Public Health Order in San Rafael please email
  • MarinTogether is an initiative championing a public-private partnership to bring face masks to essential workers living in the Canal neighborhood, made by residents in the Canal—donate today!
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