General Service District 10 Marin

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28 10, 2020

Marin Outdoor Meetings Town Hall Q&A – 10/27/20

Q: Will government officials be checking up on the meetings and what repercussions?
A: Local government officials may be made aware of these meetings but not specifically going to be checking up on them. Meetings that are not following the guidelines of the county have the potential to be cited.

Q: Will meetings that are, and have been, meeting without registering be subject to repercussions?
A: Groups have the possibility of being cited by government officials if the guidelines are not followed. With our fourth tradition in mind, each group can decide how they would like to run their meeting but citings due to not following the guidelines can affect other groups or A.A. as a whole.

Q: What part of AA is handling this interface with the county?
A: Marin PI/CPC as representatives for A.A. worked with the county to provide experience in the development of these guidelines. Individual groups will be in charge of contacting parks to determine meeting availability and additional protocols on top of the guidelines.

Q: How to best disseminate this information so that groups get the message?
A: The guidelines and Q&A will be on the website and website. Please direct people to these sources, and inform them that the county has produced guidelines for all outdoor recovery meetings.

Q: Will there be contact with meetings that are listed as in-person so they know about these guidelines?
A: Our hope in putting on this Town Hall was to get this information out to the fellowship, and members from the groups we know are already meeting in person were contacted. Please direct people to the guidelines on the and websites.

Q: Will in-person meetings be listed?
A: Each group will decide if they would like to register with Intergroup and have their meeting listed on the website.

Q: What parks are available for our use?
A: As of this moment, Marin County Parks and Rec is taking applications for recurring use permits in all Marin County Regional Parks. Other types of parks, such as City Parks and Marin County Open Spaces, will need to be contacted directly for availability.

Q: How do the guidelines affect the meetings that have been meeting before there were guidelines?
A: These guidelines are in effect for all outdoor recovery meetings currently meeting in person or planned. Violations of these guidelines could result in citings which could affect other groups or A.A. as a whole.

Q: Anonymity! How long for groups to keep a contact tracing list?
A: Each group will have to determine how best to facilitate this list; recommend keeping the list for each meeting for three weeks.

Q: Please clarify suggestion for 7th tradition donations.
A: The guidelines note not to pass a basket around the group, if groups would like to donate physical currency, they recommend having a basket at the entrance or exit for members to deposit money into. Electronic contributions are recommended to avoid contact. Please note
that in some parks, if physical money is collected, there will be an additional fee for this. Coordinate with the Parks and Rec Department for the park you are meeting in.

Q: Will groups be responsible for providing insurance?
A: This is dependent on the park location of the meeting, insurance is available through Intercounty Fellowship of A.A. for a one-time fee of $50. Visit for more information.

Q: Will we need more work regarding insurance responsibility?
A: Each group will be responsible for providing necessary documentation for the park that they are meeting in.

Q: Are the guidelines contingent on the state and/or county status? Might they change?
A: We adhere to the strictest guidelines, and the county can not overrule the state requirements. The parks may have different requirements as time goes on and we begin to open back up.

Q: How does “first come, first served” affect group use and “between group” coordination?
A: Certain parks, such as Corte Madera Town Park, are on a first come, first served basis, but the Corte Madera Parks and Recreation Department is asking that groups call first to let them know they are coming so as to not overwhelm the park with multiple groups at the same time.

Q: What are the various costs for use of parks and permitting? Is the cost per use or a day permit?
A: For Marin County Regional Parks, there is a non-refundable one-time fee of $34 to file an application for a recurring use permit. This permit covers recurring meetings for the extent of time approved by Marin County.

Q: Should we contact other parks directly to find out about use?
A: Yes, similar to how we used to rent a meeting space and coordinated with the facility in charge, groups should contact the Parks and Rec Department of the park they are interested in and work with those in charge of managing that park to determine availability and protocols
required in addition to the guidelines.

Q: Is the application fee a one-time fee?
A: For Marin County Parks and Rec applications, yes. The application fee is only charged to apply for the recurring use permit, not per use or for individual days.

Q: Is the application fee site specific and will groups need to submit applications for each location that they want to use?
A: For Marin County Parks and Rec, the application fee is for each permit application submitted. The location and sites requested by the recurring use permits are up to Marin County to be approved or denied.

Q: Are there recommendations regarding temperature checking devices? How should groups manage temp checks for outdoor meetings?
A: We recommend each group hold a group conscience to determine how they would like to screen members for COVID-19 symptoms.

Q: How to manage group size limits? Newcomer priority consideration for meetings?
A: We recommend each group hold a group conscience to determine how they will handle additional members arriving above the meeting limit attendance.

Q: How should groups handle contact lists?
A: Each group can identify someone to keep a contact list. Please note that if someone develops symptoms of COVID-19, we do not need to break a person’s anonymity to let the nurse know who they have been in contact with; we don’t need to mention that it was an A.A. meeting. Also, if the infected member was not within six feet for more than 15 minutes with another person, contact tracing doesn’t apply.

Q: What information is required for a contact list?
A: First and last names and phone numbers.

26 10, 2020

Marin Outdoor Meeting Guidelines


California has a blueprint for reducing COVID-19 in the state with revised criteria for loosening and tightening restrictions on activities. California’s Stay at Home Order applies statewide and sets a floor on what the County can do. Local health officers can adopt stricter public health orders as warranted by local conditions but cannot be less restrictive than the State Order.

Certain groups, including people aged 65 or older and those with serious underlying medical conditions, such as heart or lung disease or diabetes, are at higher risk of hospitalization and serious complications. Transmission is most likely when people are in close contact or in a poorly ventilated area with an infected person, even if that person does not have any symptoms or has not yet developed symptoms.

At this time all participants in group counseling services (incl. recovery support groups) should attend meetings remotely. Groups should make accommodations for remote support to the maximum extent feasible. If remote participation is not feasible, recovery support groups may convene outdoors if they comply with the requirements for participation (below). Groups should create stable cohorts capping group size (limit of 12, including any group leaders) to reduce in-person interactions.

Requirements for Participation

  • Identify an individual to serve as the “host” who will be responsible for gathering participant names and contact information* and ensuring compliance with the social distancing requirements, Health Officer Order on Face Coverings and other pertinent best practices, such as the following:
    • Screen attendees for COVID-19 symptoms (for screening tool example, CLICK LINK HERE). Participants with symptoms should not attend; offer them a list of remote meetings.
    • Consider reducing the meeting length to lessen the risk of virus transmission.
  • At present, open space and parks operated by the County and local jurisdictions, including Marin County Parks, has attendance maximums that vary by site at permitted outdoor park venues. Consult with local jurisdictions regarding the specific venue to identify capacity limits and other pertinent requirements, including completion of the Marin Recovers Site Specific Protection Plan.

Set-Up and Clean-Up

  • Implement one-way foot traffic directional patterns and designate a foot traffic control monitor (sample below).
  • Implement phased entrance and release, as opposed to everyone moving at once; Allow for extra time between meetings to ensure that attendees can return to their vehicles or otherwise leave in a socially distanced manner.
  • Design seating arrangements to provide a minimum of six feet separation between non-household attendees.
  • Disinfect chairs between before and after use.
  • Provide clear signage requiring attendees to remain socially distanced in household groups, follow the marked flow of foot traffic, wear face coverings as required by the Health Officer Order for Face Coverings.
  • Attendees shall be required to bring their chairs or blankets as needed for participation in meetings to prevent sharing of these items.
  • Umbrellas, canopies and other shade structures may only be used if they do not have sides and allow for the free flow of air through the space.

Meeting Procedure

  • Greet attendees in a way that maintains six feet of separation without physical contact.
  • Do not bring food and beverages to share.
  • Do not loan out or pass around books or other tangible other items to individuals for use and return. Text, images, or other information may be projected or otherwise displayed for viewing during meetings without contact.
  • Use no-interaction approaches to giving, such as online giving or having attendees place donations in a basket upon leaving the meeting.
  • Avoid sharing microphones. If microphones must be shared, disinfect the microphone between each individual’s use.
  • Attendees must be required to leave as soon as the meeting has concluded. No continued gathering shall be permitted.


  • The host must maintain a list with names and contact information of all participants. If a participant tests positive for COVID-19, the host shall assist the County Public Health Department in any case investigation and contact tracing* associated with the gathering.

* Please remember that maintaining social distancing (6 feet) is one of the most effective ways to engage in meetings safely and preserve the ability to maintain anonymity. For example, if a participant tests positive for COVID-19 but was not within 6 feet of any fellow participant for 15 minutes or more, then there may not be any need to contact participants for quarantine and testing.


The county Board of Supervisors passed an ordinance that allows government workers (in addition to law enforcement officers) to cite violators of COVID-19 public health rules. The public is encouraged to email [email protected] to report violations.

Additional Information

Marin Recovers: Safely Re-Opening Marin County from COVID-19:

Marin County HHS COVID-19 Information

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Sample Seating and One-Way Foot Traffic Flow

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