Safely reopening Marin County from COVID-19

General Office Space

Current Status

General office spaces are defined as locations used as a place for commercial or professional work.

As of July 13, office space for non-critical ("non-essential") sectors must close indoor operations except to perform minimum basic operations.  Non-essential sectors are defined as any business that does not qualify as "essential" in Section 15.f of the current Shelter-In-Place order.   While all sectors of office space were previously allowed to operate in Marin County,  California Governor Gavin Newsom restricted the office industries allowed to operate indoors after an uptick in cases, increased hospitalizations and outbreaks throughout the state of California and in Marin County.  There is no current target for reopening ­­ of offices for non-essential sectors.

"Minimum Basic Operations" means the following activities for businesses, provided that owners, personnel, and contractors comply with social distancing requirements, to the extent possible, while carrying out such operations:

  1. The minimum necessary activities to maintain and protect the value of the business’s inventory and facilities; ensure security, safety, and sanitation; process payroll and employee benefits; provide for the delivery of existing inventory directly to residences or businesses; and related functions.  For clarity, this section does not permit businesses to provide curbside pickup to customers.
  2. The minimum necessary activities to facilitate owners, personnel, and contractors of the business being able to continue to work remotely from their residences, and to ensure that the business can deliver its service remotely.

Non-essential businesses are restricted from allowing customer/client access at their place(s) of business until further notice. All businesses may continue operations consisting exclusively of owners, personnel, volunteers, or contractors performing activities at their own residences (i.e., working from home).  All businesses are encouraged to maximize the number of personnel who work from home.

Reopening Guidelines

Each business must complete the COVID-19 Site Specific Protection Plan (SPP) prior to reopening. The SPP should include approved business-specific protocols outlined below.

(paste this into your Site Specific Protection Plan and fill in the <required content>)

  • Cal/OSHA COVID-19 General Checklist for Office Workspaces outlines a list of best practices with specific guidelines for social distancing in office spaces.
    • Minimize the number of Personnel that use office spaces to the greatest extent possible, and continue to encourage Personnel work remotely as much as practicable.
    • All Personnel are required to wear Face Coverings pursuant to the Health Officer Order on Face Coverings, including at all times that Personnel are:
      • interacting in person with any member of the public;
      • working in any space visited by members of the public, such as reception areas, service counters, public restrooms, cashier and checkout areas, waiting rooms, service areas, and other spaces used to interact with the public, regardless of whether anyone from the public is present at the time;
      • working in or walking through common areas such as hallways, stairways, elevators, and parking facilities;
      • working in any room or enclosed area when other people (except for members of the person’s own household or residence) are present; or
      • working in a cubicle or space that is not fully enclosed by floor-to-ceiling walls.
    • Implement measures to physically separate workers and workstations by at least six feet using measures such as physical partitions or visual cues (e.g., floor markings, colored tape, or signs to indicate to where workers should stand)
    • Reconfigure office spaces, cubicles, and other work spaces to ensure a minimum of six feet between all Personnel at such stations and decrease maximum capacity for conference and meeting areas
    • Adjust in-person meetings, if they are necessary, to ensure physical distancing
    • Stagger employee breaks, in compliance with wage and hour regulations, if needed
    • Reconfigure, restrict, or close common areas and provide an alternative where physical distancing can be practiced
    • Limit the number of individuals riding in an elevator and ensure the use of face coverings
  • Utilize work practices as much as possible to limit the number of employees at the office at one time, such as telework and modified work schedules.
  • Minimize the number of non-Personnel entering Office Spaces.
    • Non-Personnel must continue to be served telephonically or virtually to the greatest extent possible.
    • Limit the amount of time that any non-Personnel spends in any Office Space to the minimum duration possible.
    • Stagger non-Personnel entering Office Space to the greatest extent possible to avoid multiple non-Personnel in the Office Space at one time.
    • Require that non-Personnel make appointments to come into Office Space when possible.

Full Industry-Specific Guidance from Public Health (as of May 29) 

This industry-specific guidance is being issued pursuant to the May 15, 2020 Order of the Health Officer of the County of Marin Directing All Individuals in the County to Continue Sheltering in their Place of Residence (the “Shelter in Place Order”) and unless otherwise defined below, initially capitalized terms used in this guidance have the same meaning given them in that order.  This guidance goes into effect on June 1, 2020.

This guidance remains in effect until suspended, superseded, or amended by the Health Officer, is supported by the justifications set forth in the Shelter in Place Order, and automatically incorporates any revisions to that order or other future orders issued by the Health Officer that supersede that order or reference this guidance. All businesses addressed herein and allowed to operate under the Shelter in Place Order are required to follow this industry-specific guidance and implement all Best Practices detailed below.

This guidance and its enumerated Best Practices may be revised by the Health Officer, through revision of this guidance or another future order, as conditions relating to COVID-19 require, at the discretion of the Health Officer. Each business identified herein must stay updated regarding any changes to the Shelter in Place Order, this guidance, and the Best Practices specifically applicable to it by checking the Marin Recovers website regularly.

UNDER THE AUTHORITY OF CALIFORNIA HEALTH AND SAFETY CODE SECTIONS 101040, 101085, AND 120175, THE HEALTH OFFICER DIRECTS AS FOLLOWS:

  1. This guidance applies to all owners, operators, managers, or supervisors of any business that Shelter in Place Order permits to be open to the public in the County of Marin (the “County”) and that consist of any of the following:
    • 1.1. a room, set of rooms, or building used as a place for commercial or professional work (“Office Space”)
  2. Each Office Space must create, adopt, and implement a written COVID-19 Site-Specific Protection Plan (a Site-Specific Protection Plan template is available online at com) that incorporates and addresses all applicable Best Practices included in this guidance.
  3. Depending on the nature of the business covered by this guidance, there may be certain people associated with the business that are subject to this guidance. Collectively those people are referred to by this guidance and the Best Practices as “Personnel”, and those people include all of the following who provide goods or services associated with the business in the County: employees; contractors and sub-contractors (such as those who sell goods or perform services onsite or who deliver goods for the business); independent contractors (such as “gig workers” who perform work via the business’ app or other online interface); vendors who are permitted to sell goods onsite (such as farmers or others who sell at stalls in farmers’ markets); volunteers; and other individuals who regularly provide services onsite at the request of the business. This guidance requires the business to ensure that Personnel who perform work associated with the business are addressed by the COVID-19 Site-Specific Protection Plan and comply with those requirements.
  4. Implementation of this guidance augments—but does not limit—the obligations of each Office Space under all other existing Health Officer Orders, including, but not limited to, all requirements of the Facial Coverings Order and the obligation to prepare, post, and implement a Social Distancing Protocol as required by the Shelter in Place Order.
  5. Best Practices for Office Spaces:
    • 5.1. – Cal/OSHA COVID-19 General Checklist for Office Workspaces outlines a list of best practices with specific guidelines for social distancing in office spaces.
      • 5.1.1. – Minimize the number of Personnel that use office spaces to the greatest extent possible, and continue to encourage Personnel work remotely as much as practicable.
      • 5.1.2. – All Personnel are required to wear Face Coverings pursuant to the Health Officer Order on Face Coverings, including at all times that Personnel are:
        • interacting in person with any member of the public;
        • working in any space visited by members of the public, such as reception areas, service counters, public restrooms, cashier and checkout areas, waiting rooms, service areas, and other spaces used to interact with the public, regardless of whether anyone from the public is present at the time;
        • working in or walking through common areas such as hallways, stairways, elevators, and parking facilities;
        • working in any room or enclosed area when other people (except for members of the person’s own household or residence) are present; or
        • working in a cubicle or space that is not fully enclosed by floor-to-ceiling walls.
      • 5.1.3. – Implement measures to physically separate workers and workstations by at least six feet using measures such as physical partitions or visual cues (e.g., floor markings, colored tape, or signs to indicate to where workers should stand)
      • 5.1.4. – Reconfigure office spaces, cubicles, and other work spaces to ensure a minimum of six feet between all Personnel at such stations and decrease maximum capacity for conference and meeting areas
      • 5.1.5. – Adjust in-person meetings, if they are necessary, to ensure physical distancing
      • 5.1.6. – Stagger employee breaks, in compliance with wage and hour regulations, if needed
      • 5.1.7. – Reconfigure, restrict, or close common areas and provide an alternative where physical distancing can be practiced
      • 5.1.8. – Limit the number of individuals riding in an elevator and ensure the use of face coverings
    • 5.2. – Utilize work practices as much as possible to limit the number of employees at the office at one time, such as telework and modified work schedules.
    • 5.3. – Minimize the number of non-Personnel entering Office Spaces.
      • 5.3.1. – Non-Personnel must continue to be served telephonically or virtually to the greatest extent possible.
      • 5.3.2 – Limit the amount of time that any non-Personnel spends in any Office Space to the minimum duration possible.
      • 5.3.3. – Stagger non-Personnel entering Office Space to the greatest extent possible to avoid multiple non-Personnel in the Office Space at one time.
      • 5.3.4. – Require that non-Personnel make appointments to come into Office Space when possible.
  6. This guidance is issued in furtherance of the purposes of the Shelter in Place Order. Where a conflict exists between this guidance and any state, local, or federal public health order related to the COVID-19 pandemic, including, without limitation, the Site-Specific Protection Plan, the most restrictive provision controls. Failure to carry out this guidance is a violation of the Shelter in Place Order, constitutes an imminent threat and menace to public health, constitutes a public nuisance, and is a misdemeanor punishable by fine, imprisonment, or both.

ORDER DATED: June 1, 2020. (View the signed Public Health Order allowing office space businesses to resume)

When additional guidelines are updated, they will be posted to this page. Please sign up to receive notifications when additional business protocols and other information about business reopening in Marin County becomes available.

Questions?  Contact us.

Group Lead

  • David Speer, Facilities Planning and Development Manager

Group Members

  • Dennis Fisco, Seagate Properties
  • Whitney Strotz, Cushman & Wakefield
  • Stacy Clark, Jamestown Urban Management, L.P.
  • Marshall Livingston, M.S. Livingston & Sons
  • Hal Brownstone, Jones Lang LaSalle Americas, Inc.
  • Chris Yalonis, VenturePad
  • Lester "Les" Rosen, Employment Screening Resources
  • Eric Davis, BioMarin
  • Gail Hamrick, 2K Software
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