Health officials in Marin County on Friday announced that plans to allow more businesses to reopen on Monday are being scaled back due to a surge in novel coronavirus cases.
Marin saw 54 new cases among the general population on Thursday, the highest single-day increase since a countywide health order was enacted in March. Hospitalized cases have reached their highest level at 12, with five patients in intensive care.
In addition is the sharp increases at San Quentin State prison, more than 500 inmates and 75 staff members diagnosed in the past two weeks, adding more critically ill patients at local hospitals.
The sudden spread has forced the county to shorten the list of allowed commercial reopenings it announced June 20.
Indoor dining, and hair salons and barbershops will still be allowed. So will outdoor-based activities such as campgrounds and RV parks, picnic and barbecue areas. All must abide by city guidelines.
Anticipated reopenings that had been planned but are now again delayed include short-term lodging; gym and workout facilities and services such as tattoo parlors, piercing shops, electrology services, skin care and cosmetology services, non-medical massage services, and nail salons.
"Since the beginning of our reopening process in early May, Marin Public Health has committed to moving at a sequential rate, guided by local COVID-19 data and our progress indicators," county Public Health Officer Dr. Matt Willis said in a statement. "We're seeing patterns we need to pay attention to. We're not closing anything down. We're just slowing the pace in response to the data."
The choice came down to which businesses posed the least risk, officials said. The ones that didn't make the cut are still on the list for the next round of reopening, but when that will be is unknown, officials said.
Max Korten, director of Marin County Parks and Acting Coordinator for the Marin Recovers Industry Advisors called on the public to remain patient and do its part to stop the spread.
"We have a shared responsibility in this. Everyone in Marin County needs to wear a face covering, maintain social distance, and practice good hygiene," he said. "These are simple tools, and our ability to reopen further depends a lot on following these practices as a community."