Hays County hospitalizations trend lower, increased restrictions lifted

County officials say they are also ‘frustrated’ with vaccine rollout

Hays County Courthouse, downtown San Marcos, Tx. (Jakob Rodriguez, Copyright 2020 by KSAT - All rights reserved.)

SAN MARCOS – Hays County Judge Ruben Becerra Sr. announced on Sunday that area businesses could return to pre-coronavirus pandemic capacity levels as the area’s Trauma Service Area remained under 15% for seven consecutive days.

Beccera said he received a letter from Dr. John Hellerstedt, director of the Texas Department of State health services, informing him of the situation as it affected Hays County.

According to Governor Greg Abbott’s Executive Order GA-32, bars can reopen, elective surgeries can be scheduled and businesses can increase their capacity to 75%.

Becerra said he was pleased to see a positive outcome of the regional partner’s efforts to slow the virus’s spread.

“This is a positive step in the right direction,” Becerra said. “Everything we are doing right now, combined with rolling out the vaccine to everyone who wants it, will aid in the fight against COVID-19.”

Good Morning, Wanted to share some good news and touch on the vaccine issue this morning. I received an email last...

Posted by Hays County Judge Ruben Becerra on Sunday, January 31, 2021

Becerra said he also shares community members’ frustration concerning vaccine supply.

“With the current severe lack of vaccine supply, the tremendous demand makes dispensing the doses a huge disappointment,” Becerra said.

Mike Jones, director of the Hays County Office of Emergency Services and the Hays County Local Health Department, said the county receives less than 2,000 doses per week from the state.

“While no system is perfect,” Jones said, “our goal is to take care of Hays County residents in the most efficient and effective manner possible. Receiving less than 2,000 doses per week from DSHS is a frustration felt by everyone at the County and in our community.”

Currently, officials said they are collaborating on creating a waiting list for anyone in the DSHS Phase 1A and Phase 1B groups.

According to Jones, any DSHS-designated vaccine hub must make the doses it receives available to anyone in Texas, not just the county in which the hub is located. Therefore, Jones said, “people from all over the state are also trying to get into the vaccine clinics in this county.”

All information and exemptions in Executive Order GA-32 can be found on Governor Abbott’s website.

Capacity restrictions are still in effect for Bexar County and surrounding counties in the state’s Trauma Service Area P.

Related: Man, 22, arrested in series of vehicle burglaries in Hays County, deputies say

About the Author:

Jakob Rodriguez is a digital journalist at KSAT 12. He's a graduate of Texas State University, where he served as the editor-in-chief of the student-run newspaper, The University Star.