COVID-19 Orders

Hays County Stay Home, Work Safe Order

To help stop the spread of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), Hays County residents will be under a Stay at Home, Work Safe Order effective March 26 at 11 p.m. and continuing until 4 a.m. on April 10, 2020. The Order may be rescinded or extended as necessary.

Issued on March 25 by Hays County Judge Ruben Becerra, the Order mandates that all individuals currently living within Hays County remain at home unless performing essential functions, such as certain necessary jobs and essential government functions. To read the entire Order, visit this link.

Other allowable activities include grocery shopping, picking up medications from the pharmacy, visiting a medical professional, engaging in outdoor exercise and dog walking, and caring for a family member or pet in another household. As individuals use shared or outdoor spaces, they must maintain social distancing of at least six feet from any other person when they are outside their residence.

In the Order, day care facilities that serve essential workers can remain open, with restrictions on how they operate in order to help ensure children and employees do not spread the virus. Healthcare businesses, grocery stores, hardware stores, news media, gas stations, restaurants offering to-go and/or delivery of food, and many other essential businesses will not have to close. Persons providing electrical, plumbing, and other essential services can continue to work, as can those who work from home.

All businesses not designated as Essential Businesses are required to cease all activities at facilities located within the County, however their employees or contractors may continue to work from home. Furthermore, all public or private gatherings of any number of people occurring outside a single household or living unit are prohibited.

The Order also enacts a nightly curfew for residents between the hours of 11 p.m. and 4 a.m. unless conducting or traveling to or from an Essential Activity, work at an Essential Business, or work at an Essential Governmental Function.

“The issuance of this Order is meant to help prevent additional Hays County and San Marcos residents from contracting the COVID-19 virus,” said Mayor Jane Hughson. “We strongly encourage everyone in San Marcos to abide by the Order and remain at home as much as possible. Before you leave the house, please ask yourself, is this trip necessary? If not, please stay home. This is how you can help fight Covid-19.”

Hughson said 11 confirmed cases have been identified in Hays County and she believes the new measures to Stay at Home, Work Safe will also help keep local residents safe by limiting the ability of the virus to spread through the community.

The City of San Marcos previously issued Orders to practice social distancing and not gather in groups of more than 10. Access to all City public facilities, river front parks, park playscapes, the dog and skate parks, park restroom facilities and water fountains have been closed in an abundance of caution.

Law enforcement officials will have the ability to issue citations to anyone who violates the Order.

State of Texas COVID-19 Orders: from Governor Greg Abbott

  • Order No. 1: In accordance with the Guidelines from the President and the CDC, every person in Texas shall avoid social gatherings in groups of more than 10 people.
  • Order No. 2: In accordance with the Guidelines from the President and the CDC, people shall avoid eating or drinking at bars, restaurants, and food courts, or visiting gyms or massage parlors; provided, however, that the use of drive-thru, pickup, or delivery options is allowed and highly encouraged throughout the limited duration of this executive order.
  • Order No. 3: In accordance with the Guidelines from the President and the CDC, people shall not visit nursing homes or retirement or long-term care facilities unless to provide critical assistance.
  • Order No. 4: In accordance with the Guidelines from the President and the CDC, schools shall temporarily close.

These orders will be effective on a statewide basis starting at 11:59 PM on March 20, 2020 and will end at 11:59 PM on April 3, 2020, subject to extension thereafter based on the status of COVID-19 in Texas and the recommendations of the CDC.

This executive order does not prohibit people from visiting a variety of places, including grocery stores, gas stations, parks, and banks, so long as the necessary precautions are maintained to reduce the transmission of COVID-19. This executive order does not mandate sheltering in place. All critical infrastructure will remain operational, domestic travel will remain unrestricted, and government entities and businesses will continue providing essential services.

For offices and workplaces that remain open, employees should practice good hygiene and, where feasible, work from home in order to achieve optimum isolation from COVD-19. The more that people reduce their public contact, the sooner COVID-19 will be contained and the sooner this executive order will expire.

Under Chapter 81 of the Health and Safety Code, Commissioner Hellerstedt’s Public Health Disaster Declaration triggers a number of important tools for state and local officials to respond to COVID-19:

  • Texas and local health authorities can more easily require property owners to disinfect, decontaminate, and seal off property that might be contaminated.
  • It authorizes health authorities to take additional control measures that they see fit to control and eradicate the threat to public health.
  • It streamlines the process for state and local health authorities to invoke the courts to enforce quarantines of individuals.
  • Activates enhanced tools for DSHS to collect disease and health information and to share that information with law enforcement personnel and first responders as appropriate.

View the Governor’s Executive Order.

 View the Public Health Disaster Declaration.