The City of San Marcos continues to coordinate with regional government agencies to be proactive and prepared for the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).
Although the first two positive cases were reported this morning in Austin, no cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Hays County and this is being monitored extensively. The City’s emergency management efforts remain vigilant and the City will continue to follow the recommendations of the Texas Department of State Health Services, the Hays County Health Department, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
As confirmed by local health officials, the Austin-Travis County cases are not a result of community spread and neither of the individuals infected are county residents. One individual is from Houston and has been visiting friends in the Austin area and the other individual is a patient transferred to a hospital in Austin from another Texas hospital.
“At this time, we are monitoring the regional situation by the hour to ensure the health and welfare of our City staff and our community,” said Mayor Jane Hughson. “Although as of today we have no plans to cancel all city events, we are encouraging staff and the public to use remote meeting technology as a healthy and convenient alternative to in-person meetings, to evaluate the need of any non-essential business and personal travel and to stay home if you feel sick.”
In the coming weeks, City sponsored events will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis as to the capacity for volunteers whose participation is vital to the success of these events. Lack of volunteers to serve at these events could result in cancellation or postponement.
Within city-run facilities, the City is using its successful Safety Coach program to assist with staff awareness and to provide supplies for disinfecting public facing areas throughout the work day. Measures are also in place for the City’s janitorial service to utilize cleaning chemicals that have a registered claim to kill the COVID-19 virus when properly applied.
“Our goal is to keep Hays County and San Marcos virus free, but it will take all of us working together and doing our part,” said Hughson. “This is not a time to panic, but it is a time to be diligent in our efforts for prevention.”
Strategies to prevent the spread of COVID-19:
• Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds several times a day, including between your fingers and underneath your nails.
• Hand sanitizers should be used only when handwashing is not available and should be at least 60 percent alcohol to be effective.
• Avoid handshaking, high-fives and hugging;
• Avoid touching your face – especially your eyes, nose, and mouth;
• Stay home when you feel sick;
• Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue then put the tissue in the trash, or use the crook of your elbow if a tissue isn’t available;
• Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household disinfectant cleaning spray or wipe.
• Avoid travel to areas that have been designated high-risk areas because of multiple verified cases of COVID-19.
The public should note that Coronaviruses are not new – some are responsible for common colds and some for more serious infections like SARS – but this particular strain of the virus is new which is why it is often referred to as Novel Coronavirus. Its formal name is Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) since 2019 was the year it was discovered.
Contact your healthcare provider or the Hays County Local Health Department at 512-393-5520 if you have any questions about COVID-19 or if you are concerned that you have been exposed. The Hays County Health Department has a monitoring protocol in place which will be explained to you if warranted. If you are experiencing symptoms, health professionals recommend calling ahead and consulting with your physician’s office prior to arrival.
For additional qualified information about COVID-19, visit the Texas Department of State Health Services or the Centers for Disease Control. The City will continue to utilize its City of San Marcos TX-City Hall Facebook page for pertinent information along with posting information online at https://www.sanmarcostx.gov/279/Coronavirus-and-Flu-Information-and-Prev.
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