Marin Outdoor Meeting Guidelines

Introduction

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.

Notification

  • 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.

Enforcement

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 sipviolation@marincounty.org to report violations.

Additional Information

Marin Recovers: Safely Re-Opening Marin County from COVID-19: www.MarinRecovers.com

Marin County HHS COVID-19 Information

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Sample Seating and One-Way Foot Traffic Flow

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