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Posted on: March 17, 2020

Mayor’s Order Now Prohibits Gatherings Over 10 Persons

alert image from the City of San Marcos

Following yesterday’s order by San Marcos Mayor Jane Hughson to prohibit public or private community gatherings of 50 persons or more anywhere within the city limits, she signed a new Order today that reduces that number to 10 persons. The new Order also adds new closures including common dining areas at food establishments, as well as bars, and is in effect until April 1, 2020

Food establishments are ordered to take measures to reduce occupancy levels to ensure that no more than 10 people occupy the same space or dining room at the same time, and are encouraged to provide take-away or no-contact delivery food service designed to limit exposure between individuals.

The holder of a mixed beverage permit for on-premise consumption, commonly known as a bar, is ordered to close common bar spaces open to the public and is prohibited from allowing consumption on the bar premises until April 1, 2020.

The new Order is effective as of 5:00 p.m. today, Tuesday, March 17, 2020, and continues for the next 15 days, until April 1, 2020, when it will be reevaluated. This Order in its entirety is attached to this press release for public review and is also available on the city’s website at www.sanmarcostx.gov/covid19info

“San Marcos is coordinating and collaborating with the Hays County Health Department, which is following the guidelines and protocols from The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) which were adjusted again early today,” Mayor Jane Hughson said. “This is a rapidly changing and fluid situation. We are diligently working with our local, regional and state partners to enact decisions that make the most sense and help protect the public.”

She added that her decision to issue a new 15-day Order stemmed from newly revised guidelines enacted by the CDC, following new Whitehouse guidelines issued Monday, Mar. 16, that more strictly limit people’s interactions.

The Hays County Health Department recommends following social distancing protocols, including cancelling, postponing, or not attending events or community gatherings with 10 people or more. In addition, the Hays County Health Department urges individuals who are at the highest risk from COVID-19, as determined and defined by the CDC, to not attend and to avoid community gatherings or events that will have or will likely have 10 or more people.

This Order does not apply to the following facilities:

(i)    critical infrastructure, including airport facilities and operations, transit, and transit facilities;

(ii)   government buildings providing essential services;

(iii)  schools or institutions of higher learning;

(iv)   grocery stores and pharmacies; and

(v)   hospitals and medical offices and facilities.

“Critical city infrastructure, including communications, emergency services, energy, transportation systems, and water and wastewater systems, are ordered to continue operating,” Hughson said. “Those departments are encouraged to implement screening precautions to protect employees.” 

A Frequently Asked Questions document is also attached to this email and available on the City’s website at www.sanmarcostx.gov/covid19faqs. The FAQ provides clarification and definitions of the terms within the Order and provides answers to questions of interest to the public.  It also details new limited access services available at the Library during this public closure. 

As a reminder, the Mayor’s new Order also applies the April 1 date to the closure of the San Marcos Public Library, Activity Center, Senior Center, Discovery Center, and to the adjusted operations at the San Marcos Regional Animal Shelter. All City sponsored public gatherings, board and commission meetings, 50+/Senior Programs, and programs of more than 10 people will also be canceled, with the remainder of City facilities and parks remaining open for normal business hours.  

The City offers many online resources for San Marcos residents; a complete list of those with links are available at www.sanmarcostx.gov/remotebusiness. The public is encouraged to practice social distancing and to utilize phone and computer access to services whenever possible.

Contact your healthcare provider if you have any non-life-threatening questions about COVID-19.  If you are concerned that you have been exposed or if you are experiencing symptoms, call your health care professional to determine next steps.

San Marcos will continue to follow the guidelines set forth by the State Department of Health Services, the Hays County Health Department and the Centers for Disease Control. Current updates and helpful links may be found at www.sanmarcostx.gov/covid19info.

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