On March 17, elected officials from Hays County and the city of San Marcos signed prohibition orders that ban private and public community gatherings of more than 10 people.

The Hays County and San Marcos prohibition orders are efforts to help slow the spread of the coronavirus pandemic per recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The countywide order signed by County Judge Ruben Becerra applies to all of Hays County, but cities with prohibitions already in place will follow their own.

The order will become effective March 18 and will last through May 14 at 5 p.m.

In the order signed by Becerra, it specifies that prohibited community gatherings, “[include], but is not limited to weddings, religious gatherings, parties, funerals, sporting events, social events, conferences and other large gatherings.”

Violation of the prohibition order will result in a $500 fine per violation. The Hays County Sheriff’s Office, Hays County Constables’ Office, Hays County Fire Marshal’s Office and other peace officers will be enforcing this order.

The prohibition does not include transit or transit stops, office space or residential buildings, grocery stores, shopping malls, restaurants, hospitals, schools, essential governmental functions, institutes of higher learning, medical offices and facilities.

Similarly, the city of San Marcos changed its first order prohibiting private and public gatherings of over 50 people to no more than 10 people on March 17, effective immediately.

In the latest order, San Marcos Mayor Jane Hughson ordered the closure of bars. Though restaurants will remain open, no more than 10 people will be allowed in the dining area or the same space; the order encourages establishments to provide takeout or delivery services.

The prohibition order will last through April 1, and a violation of this order will be considered a violation of a city ordinance.

The order excludes transit and transit stops, essential governmental buildings, grocery stores, schools, institutions of higher learning, pharmacies, hospitals, and medical offices and facilities.

For more information on city updates, click here.