San Marcos Mayor Jane Hughson signed an order March 16 to prohibit public and private community gatherings of over 50 people.

The prohibition comes as a direct response to slow the coronavirus pandemic, following the latest guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Hays County Health Department.

The order will become effective on March 17 and will last through May 11.

The community gatherings prohibited in the order include "weddings, religious gatherings, parties, funerals, sporting events, social events, conferences and other large gatherings,” according to the prohibition order.

Violation of the mayor’s signed order would be considered a violation of a city ordinance. The San Marcos Police Department, San Marcos Fire Marshal’s Office and other peace officers are authorized to enforce this order.

However, the prohibition order does not apply to office spaces, residential buildings, grocery stores, shopping malls, retail establishments, restaurants, hospitals, medical offices and facilities, schools or institutes of higher learning. It also does not apply to transit or transit stops.

In addition to the prohibition order, the city of San Marcos has closed San Marcos Public Library, San Marcos Activity Center, San Marcos Senior Center and San Marcos Discovery Center and is making arrangements at the San Marcos Regional Animal Shelter to adjust operations until May 11.

All city-sponsored public gatherings, programs for people 50 and over and programs of more than 50 people have also been canceled.

In response to the effects the coronavirus outbreak may be causing customers, the city of San Marcos has suspended utility disconnections.

For more updates and information from the city, click here.