An Archie Williams student wears a mask, absently gazing at the horizon.
An Archie Williams student wears a mask, absently gazing at the horizon.
Harry Nemeth

Marin County updates COVID-19 policy, loosening quarantine requirements

On Tuesday, Jan. 9, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) relaxed its COVID-19 policy restrictions. COVID-19-positive individuals can now end their quarantine 24 hours after their fever disappears, as opposed to the previous five-day wait. Additionally, individuals can now return to work and school as soon as they exhibit mild to fully improved symptoms. 

The state of Oregon implemented this policy in May of 2023, becoming the first to loosen guidelines. California followed Oregon as its rates of infection decreased, and the general impacts of contracting the virus lessened due to increased vaccinations and immunity.  

State Public Health Officer and Director Dr. Tomás D. Aragon outlined where California has lessened their restrictions in a press release on the CDPH’s official website. 

[California is] now at a different point in time with reduced impacts from COVID-19 compared to prior years, due to broad immunity from vaccination and/or natural infection, and readily available treatments for infected people,” Aragon said.

Marin Health and Human Services, Marin County’s public health administration, supports the new change made by CDPH and issued a letter to community schools about the new regulation. 

According to Archie Williams High School Assistant Principal Kaki McLachlan, the Tamalpais Union High School District (TUHSD) has routinely chosen to abide by the policies proposed to them. 

“We’ve always followed county and state guidelines,” McLachlan said.

Along with McLachlan, Archie Williams Biomedical teacher Jenny Brown has welcomed the update and chosen to trust health officials’ guidance.

“I think [the policy change is] understandable because I’ve been following the science of the disease, and you can be testing positive and not be contagious,” Brown said. “I know that our Department of Public Health is not going to make a recommendation not based on science, so I trust them.”

Brown also believes it will lower stress for students and teachers when it comes to testing for COVID-19.

“[Sometimes,] people are like, forget it. [They think,] ‘I’m not going to test, [because] then I’m going to have to quarantine, and then I can’t go to this sporting event,  go to school, [or] I’m going to fall behind,’” Brown said.

The additional flexibility granted by California’s government allows the general public to lower their stress around COVID-19. Marin continues to recommend mask-wearing for individuals with COVID-19 symptoms and promotes vaccines for both adults and children. 

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  • H

    Heike San DiegoFeb 14, 2024 at 9:12 PM

    2/14/24. Where can I get new free Covid testing kits? Our supply has expired – the ones the government sent WITH extended expiration dates beyond the dates printed on the boxes. I don’t see any mention anywhere on the Marin Health Dept. site. I would like to have a supply just in case as I am an elderly person with a cancer history.

    Please call or leave a message at: 415-507-0480.
    Thank you.