City to offer remote services as public lobbies, counters close March 20

Jakob Rodriguez, Editor-In-Chief

The City of San Marcos announced the closing of all public-facing counters most public facilities to entry from the public beginning Friday March 20.

The order from the city is aimed at preventing the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and falls within the Centers for Disease Control guidelines. Hays County reported its sixth case of COVID-19 March 20.

City Manager Bert Lumbreras said city officials relied on regional partners and “trusted health organizations” to inform the city’s decision.

“Because of the current escalation level of the COVID-19 crisis, the City of San Marcos has enacted the closing of public lobbies and counters,” Lumbreras said. “Such decisions are not made lightly. We use the best information from regional partners and trusted health organizations to protect the public and our employees from the spread of this virus.”

March 18, the city and Hays County completed a limited opening of the Joint Emergency Operations Center and will keep this open for as long as it is warranted. Lumbreras stated in a city press release that EOC affords regional governmental partners effective collaboration.

“Limited activation of the EOC allows all regional government partners to collaborate most effectively in one place,” Lumbreras said. “This coordination is especially important as the situation status is changing rapidly and we all want to make the best decisions for community health and allocation of resources.”

According to a city press release, the city’s severity level is at a Level 4 which is an escalated scale of preparedness due to factors such as multiple cases of the virus in Hays County, potential illness rate, high to exceptional levels of media attention, international travel restrictions from the president of the United States, and non-government business closures or reduced hours.

New City Closures:

Beginning March 20, lobbies and public counters of all City facilities will be closed to walk-in traffic. Some business with the public will continue to be conducted in city facilities, but on a limited, by-appointment basis. Closure of city facilities will be in place until further notice.

Buildings that will be closing to the public include the San Marcos Electric Utility, the Municipal Building, City Hall, the Grant Harris, Jr. (Parks) building, the San Marcos Regional Animal Shelter, the Tourism Information Center and the Main Street offices. Public areas and lobbies of fire and police stations are also closed.

The Library, Activity Center and Pool, Senior Center and Discovery Center have been closed since Monday, March 16.

Resident & Business Resources:

City staff will still be available to assist customers by phone and email, as many city services may be handled online or via phone. For a complete list of remote service options and department operating adjustments, visit www.sanmarcostx.gov/covid19info.

Additional helpful information on this page includes resident resources, business resources, answers to frequently asked questions and a copy of today’s Executive Order signed by Governor Greg Abbott. For details and candidate information for the May 2 Special Elections for City Council Place 5, visit www.sanmarcostx.gov/specialelection.

Governor’s Order Details:

As of 11:59 p.m. Friday, March 20, the Governor’s Order is effective and continues until 11:59 p.m. on April 3:

  • Prohibits gatherings of more than 10 people;
  • Closes bars, restaurants, clubs & gyms (encourages drive-thru, take-out & food delivery);
  • Closes all schools; and
  • Prohibits visitation at nursing or retirement homes and long-term care facilities

A video message from Mayor Hughson is also available on our Facebook pages and on the city’s website: www.sanmarcostx.gov/covid19info. Residents can contact the city via various social media channels and platforms, including Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. 

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