#Covid-19 State and County News Briefs

2:00 pm, March 25

Governor Greg Abbott has directed the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) to issue guidance allowing restaurants to sell bulk retail products from restaurant supply chain distributors directly to consumers provided that such foods are in their original condition, packaging, or presented as received by the restaurant. Under this guidance, restaurants will be able to sell items like packaged meat, fruit and vegetables, and dry goods directly to the public to prepare and consume at home. 

This guidance will allow distributors and restaurants to provide Texans another source of food outside of grocery stores and prepared food from restaurants. These bulk food items would be available for purchase through restaurants offering drive-thru, delivery, pick-up, and curbside service. 

“A vital part of our COVID-19 response is to ensure that there are readily available supplies of food and resources, whether that is at grocery stores or, in this case, restaurants,” said Governor Abbott. “This guidance gives Texans another easily accessible option to buy the food they need to support their families. The State of Texas continues to work with distributors, retailers, and restaurants to ensure they have the support they need to continue providing for Texans. I thank Representative Tan Parker, the Texas Restaurant Association, and the Department of State Health Services for their collaboration to take this important step to help Texas families as our state responds to COVID-19.”


5:16 a.m., March 25

COVID-19 News Briefs

(6:01 p.m., March 24) Woodcreek issues “Stay-In, Stay-Safe order.  Woodcreek Mayor Gloria Whitehead has issued a “Stay-In, Stay-Safe” order.  The order calls on residents to limit travel outside of the home to only essential activities, essential business functions, and essential infrastructure and government functions and to observe social distancing guidelines.

(5:58 p.m., March 24) Summer Olympics postponed.  The International Olympics Committee has postponed the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.  Sources close to the IOC said that summer 2021 was probably when they would be held.

(5:26 p.m., March 24) Spirits distillers nation wide switch to manufacturing hand sanitizer.  Tito’s Vodka or Austin is one of many distillers and brewers nationwide that are using their stills to manufacture hand sanitizer.  Tito’s plans to give away its product. Others switching their production include Anheizer-Busch, Smooth Ambler, Pernod Ricard, and distilleries in Colorado, New Jersey, Kentucky, Tennessee and others.

(5:09 p.m., March 24) Hays County reports two more COVID-19 cases.  The Hays County Local Health Department has been notified of two additional confirmed cased of COVID-19, bringing the total cases in the county to nine.  All nine positive case are adults. One of the new cases is a Buda resident while the other one’s city of residence is unknown at this time. The latest breakdown of cases is: Hays County area of Austin—1; Buda—2; Dripping Springs—1; Kyle—2; San Marcos—2; city unknown—1.

(5 p.m., March 24) Hays County seeks law enforcement help enforcing orders.  Hays County Judge has asked county law enforcement officials to vigorously enforce recent orders such as the 10-person rule and social distancing.  According to Judge Becerra, there are some establishments that are carrying on business as usual. He says that by not adopting measures to help the public comply with these rules they are complicit in a violation of local disaster orders, the governor’s Executive Order and CDC recommendations.  He asks that law enforcement officials enforce the orders and issue warnings for first offenses which might cause them to realize that it is not business as usual in Hays County. For subsequent offenses the penalty can be a fine of up to $1,000 and up to 180 days in jail.

(2:32 p.m., March 24) Unauthorized fraudulent COVID-19 test kits are being marketed to test for the virus at home.  At this time, the Food and Drug Administration has not authorized any test for home testing for COVID-19.  The FDA sees value in expanding the availability of COVID-19 testing through safe and accurate tests that may include home collection and is actively working with test developers to make this happen.  If you are aware of fraudulent test kits for COVID-19, please report them to the FDA by calling the Dallas FDA Office at 214-253-5237 (leave a message for a return call).

(6:04 p.m., March 23) Be aware of price-gouging, scams.  The Texas Attorney General’s office is on the lookout for price-gouging and the Federal Trade Commission wants to help you make the wise choice when people call, text or email you with offers of money from the government or an agency.  Report price gouging at 800-621-0508. While governments have discussed offering compensation to those affected, there are no government programs currently in effect. Anyone who tells you they can get you the money now is a scammer. Remember that the government will never ask you for fees upfront nor for your credit card, bank account number, gift cards or social security number.  As always, don’t click on links or attachments in emails or texts unless you are certain that they are from a trusted source and you are expecting that email. Many scam emails look very much like those from legitimate people and businesses.

(5:53 p.m., March 23) Regulations eased to bring more nurses into the workforce.  Governor Greg Abbott has waived certain requirements for Texas nurses in an effort to meet the state’s growing need for healthcare workers.  These include extending temporary permits for graduate nurses who haven’t taken their licensing exams; temporarily waiving the requirement that students in the final year of their nursing programs meet their clinical objectives by exceeding the 50 percent limit on simulated experiences; allowing nurses with inactive licenses and retired nurses to reactivate their licenses.

(4:30 p.m., March 22) State strike force to search out medical supplies worldwide.  Stating that the shortage of needed medical supplies to fight the COVID-19 virus is not due to a lack of money but to the equipment’s unavailability, Texas Governor Gregg Abbott yesterday announced the creation of a temporary Supply Chain Strike Force.  The Supply Chain Strike Force will be tasked with guiding collaboration between the public and private sectors to ensure health care facilities have the supplies and resources they need to respond to COVID-19. In addition to working with the federal government and businesses worldwide to secure necessary personal protective equipment, the team will work to ensure day-to-day resources (including food) are available for Texas’ medical personnel, first responders and those who have contracted COVID-19.

(4 p.m., March 22) Governor Abbott issues orders to expand state’s capacity to respond to COVID-19 outbreak.  Governor Greg Abbott on Sunday signed an Executive Order to expand hospital bed capacity as the state responds to the COVID-19 virus. This order directs all licensed health care professionals and facilities to postpone elective surgeries and procedures. The Governor also suspended certain regulations to allow for increased occupancy of hospital rooms — meaning hospitals will be able to treat more than one patient in a patient room.  The Texas national guard also was tasked to assist in the creation of additional hospital space by constructing hospital tents and helping reactivate retired healthcare facilities.


Unauthorized fraudulent COVID-19 test kits are being marketed to test for the virus at home.  At this time, the Food and Drug Administration has not authorized any test for home testing for COVID-19.  The FDA sees value in expanding the availability of COVID-19 testing through safe and accurate tests that may include home collection and is actively working with test developers to make this happen.  If you are aware of fraudulent test kits for COVID-19, please report them to the FDA by calling the Dallas FDA Office at 214-253-5237 (leave a message for a return call).


5:17 a.m., March 24

COVID-19 News Briefs

(6:04 p.m., March 23) Be aware of price-gouging, scams.  The Texas Attorney General’s office is on the lookout for price-gouging and the Federal Trade Commission wants to help you make the wise choice when people call, text or email you with offers of money from the government or an agency.  Report price gouging at 800-621-0508. While governments have discussed offering compensation to those affected, there are no government programs currently in effect. Anyone who tells you they can get you the money now is a scammer. Remember that the government will never ask you for fees upfront nor for your credit card, bank account number, gift cards or social security number.  As always, don’t click on links or attachments in emails or texts unless you are certain that they are from a trusted source and you are expecting that email. Many scam emails look very much like those from legitimate people and businesses.

(5:53 p.m., March 23) Regulations eased to bring more nurses into the workforce.  Governor Greg Abbott has waived certain requirements for Texas nurses in an effort to meet the state’s growing need for healthcare workers.  These include extending temporary permits for graduate nurses who haven’t taken their licensing exams; temporarily waiving the requirement that students in the final year of their nursing programs meet their clinical objectives by exceeding the 50 percent limit on simulated experiences; allowing nurses with inactive licenses and retired nurses to reactivate their licenses.

(4:30 p.m., March 22) State strike force to acquire medical supplies worldwide.  Stating that the shortage of needed medical supplies to fight the COVID-19 virus is not due to a lack of money but to the equipment’s unavailability, Texas Governor Gregg Abbott yesterday announced the creation of a temporary Supply Chain Strike Force.  The Supply Chain Strike Force will be tasked with guiding collaboration between the public and private sectors to ensure health care facilities have the supplies and resources they need to respond to COVID-19. In addition to working with the federal government and businesses worldwide to secure necessary personal protective equipment, the team will work to ensure day-to-day resources (including food) are available for Texas’ medical personnel, first responders and those who have contracted COVID-19.

(4 p.m., March 22) Governor Abbott issues orders to expand state’s capacity to respond to COVID-19 outbreak.  Governor Greg Abbott on Sunday signed an Executive Order to expand hospital bed capacity as the state responds to the COVID-19 virus. This order directs all licensed health care professionals and facilities to postpone elective surgeries and procedures. The Governor also suspended certain regulations to allow for increased occupancy of hospital rooms — meaning hospitals will be able to treat more than one patient in a patient room.  The Texas national guard also was tasked to assist in the creation of additional hospital space by constructing hospital tents and helping reactivate retired healthcare facilities.

(12 p.m., March 22)  Hays County reports seventh COVID-19 case.  The Hays County Local Health Department has been notified of one additional case of COVID-19, bringing the total cases in the county to seven.  The person had contact with someone who had already tested positive. The adult person was on the San Marcos High School campus on March 12 and was not displaying symptoms at the time, but later developed symptoms of fever and tested positive for COVID-19.  San Marcos CISD has sent notification to its employees and student families. According to Hays County Epidemiologist Eric Schneider, the risk of transmission is low for those on campus, but he recommends that all staff and students on campus monitor themselves for symptoms until March 26.  Those symptoms typically include fever, cough and congestion. The breakdown of cases by city as of March 22 is: Hays County portion of Austin—1; Buda—1; Dripping Springs—1; Kyle—2; San Marcos—2.

(10 a.m., March 22)  Sales tax relief for businesses.  The state comptroller (pronounced “kun-TROLE-er”) advises any business owner struggling with sales tax filing and payment deadlines to call the Comptroller’s Enforcement Hotline at 800-252-8880 if they cannot pay in full and want to discuss eligibility for payment plans and waivers of penalty and interest.  Interest and penalties will not be charged for those who are trying to work with the comptroller’s office.

(10 a.m., March 22)  Evictions halted.  The Texas Supreme Court has issued an order immediately stopping all eviction proceedings until April 19.  There are limited exceptions: evictions can proceed for occupants engaging in criminal activity or posing an imminent physical threat.

(7 p.m., March 20) Federal testing standards dropped.  The US Department of Education announced on Friday that is not enforcing federal standardized testing requirements for this school year.

(6:57 p.m., March 20)  Student loan interest waived.  The president on Friday announced that all interest on federally held student loans is temporarily waived.

 (6:54 p.m., March 20)  Income Tax deadline pushed back.  US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin Friday announced that the federal income tax filing deadline is pushed back to July 15.

(6:32 p.m., March 20)  Driver’s license expiration dates waived for now.  Expiring Texas driver’s licenses will remain valid as part of the state’s response to the coronavirus outbreak.  The governor’s order also applies to state-issued identification cards and commercial driver’s licenses. This policy will remain in effect until 60 days after the Department of Public Safety notifies the public that normal operations have resumed.

(5:41 p.m., March 20) Emergency designation for US Small Business Administration disaster loans:  The Small Business Administration has included all counties in Texas in its Economic Injury Disaster Declaration and granted access to its Economic Injury Disaster Loan program to provide long-term, low-interest loans to qualifying business across the state.  Texas small business owners who believe they may be eligible for such a loan should visit the SBA’s website where they can apply for assistance. The online application is the fastest method to receive a decision about loan eligibility.

(2:16 p.m., March 19) Governor’s order closes restaurants, bars, gyms, daycare centers and schools.  Gov. Greg Abbott on Thursday issued broad restrictions statewide to curb the spread of the coronavirus, limiting public gatherings of 10 people or more and shuttering restaurant dining rooms, bars, gyms, daycare centers and schools.  The executive order takes effect midnight Friday and ends midnight April 3 but could be continued. The governor’s order also halts visitations in nursing homes and assisted living centers, except for those in critical care. Restaurant and bar restrictions still allow drive through, pick-up and delivery, and school closures do not restrict districts from offering online learning.

(7 p.m., March 18) Governor grants temporary extension to certain automobile-related requirements.  Governor Abbott has granted a temporary extension to obtain initial registration, renewal of registration and renewal of a permanent disabled parking placard.  The governor also granted a temporary extension for an individual with an expired 30-day temporary permit to obtain another permit or Texas registration. The purpose of this waiver is to prevent customers from having to physically visit a county tax assessor-collector office for these actions.

(7:42 p.m., March 17) Hays County bans meetings of more than 10 people:  Hays County Judge Ruben Becerra Tuesday issued an order prohibiting any public or private community gatherings of 10 persons or more anywhere within Hays County until May 14.  This order is applicable on a county-wide basis unless a municipal government adopts a more restrictive order.

(5:26 a.m., March 17) The CDC has issued updated guidelines for the time a person in quarantine should be fever-free without the use of fever-reducing medications. Now, those quarantined must be fever-free for 72 hours without the use of fever-reducing medications, up from 48.  This applies to those persons already in quarantine in addition to future persons who are quarantined.


5:48 a.m., March 23

COVID-19 News Briefs

(8:30 p.m., March 22) Scam Alert.  A Wimberley resident reported yesterday that she had been contacted by telephone by a person claiming to represent the US Internal Revenue Service.  The caller said that the government was ready to send coronavirus-19 personal relief checks out to citizens. He asked for her bank account information so the check could be directly deposited.  This was a relatively amateurish attempt to get personal information, but residents should be on alert for such calls. Remain vigilant, no government agency at any level would request such information by phone or email.  

(4:30 p.m., March 22) State strike force to acquire medical supplies worldwide.  Stating that the shortage of needed medical supplies to fight the COVID-19 virus is not due to a lack of money but to the equipment’s unavailability, Texas Governor Gregg Abbott yesterday announced the creation of a temporary Supply Chain Strike Force t.  The Supply Chain Strike Force will be tasked with guiding collaboration between the public and private sectors to ensure health care facilities have the supplies and resources they need to respond to COVID-19. In addition to working with the federal government and businesses worldwide to secure necessary personal protective equipment, the team will work to ensure day-to-day resources (including food) are available for Texas’ medical personnel, first responders and those who have contracted COVID-19.

(4 p.m., March 22) Governor Abbott issues orders to expand state’s capacity to respond to COVID-19 outbreak.  Governor Greg Abbott on Sunday signed an Executive Order to expand hospital bed capacity as the state responds to the COVID-19 virus. These actions will reinforce Texas’ health care capabilities and provide additional space for hospitals to provide care to COVID-19 patients. Under this order, the Governor directed all licensed health care professionals and facilities to postpone all surgeries and procedures that are not immediately, medically necessary to correct a serious medical condition or to preserve the life of a patient who without immediate performance of the surgery or procedure would be at risk for serious adverse medical consequences or death, as determined by the patient’s physician. This does not apply to any procedure that, if performed in accordance with the commonly accepted standard of clinical practice, would not deplete the hospital capacity or the personal protective equipment needed to cope with the COVID-19 disaster.  The Governor also suspended certain regulations as requested by the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) to allow for increased occupancy of hospital rooms — meaning hospitals will be able to treat more than one patient in a patient room, thus increasing their ability to care for the growing number of COVID-19 patients. The Texas national guard also was tasked to assist in the creation of additional hospital space by constructing hospital tents and helping reactivate retired healthcare facilities.

(12 p.m., March 22)  Hays County reports seventh COVID-19 case.  The Hays County Local Health Department has been notified of one additional case of COVID-19, bringing the total cases in the county to seven.  The person had contact with someone who had already tested positive. The adult person was on the San Marcos High School campus on March 12 and was not displaying symptoms at the time, but later developed symptoms of fever and tested positive for COVID-10.  San Marcos CISD has sent notification to its employees and student families. According to Hays County Epidemiologist Eric Schneider, the risk of transmission is low for those on campus, but he recommends that all staff and students on campus monitor themselves for symptoms until March 26.  Those symptoms typically include fever, cough and congestion. The breakdown of cases by city as of March 22 is: Hays County portion of Austin—1; Buda—1; Dripping Springs—1; Kyle—2; San Marcos—2.

(10 a.m., March 22)  Sales tax relief for businesses.  The state comptroller (pronounced “kun-TROLE-er”) advises any business owner struggling with sales tax filing and payment deadlines to call the Comptroller’s Enforcement Hotline at 800-252-8880 if they cannot pay in full and want to discuss eligibility for payment plans and waivers of penalty and interest.  Interest and penalties will not be charged for those who are trying to work with the comptroller’s office.

(10 a.m., March 22)  Evictions are being halted during the coronavirus outbreak.  The Texas Supreme Court issued an order Thursday night that immediately stops any eviction proceedings until April 19.  There are limited exceptions. Evictions can proceed if the occupants are engaging in criminal activity or pose an imminent physical threat.

(7 p.m., March 20) Federal testing standards dropped.  The US Department of Education announced on Friday that is not enforcing federal standardized testing requirements for this school year.

(6:57 p.m., March 20)  Student loan interest waived.  The president on Friday announced that all interest on federally held student loans is temporarily waived.

 (6:54 p.m., March 20)  Income Tax deadline pushed back.  US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin Friday announced that the federal income tax filing deadline is pushed back to July 15.

(6:32 p.m., March 20)  Driver’s license expiration dates waived for now.  Expiring Texas driver’s licenses will remain valid as part of the state’s response to the coronavirus outbreak.  The governor’s order also applies to state-issued identification cards and commercial driver’s licenses. This policy will remain in effect until 60 days after the Department of Public Safety notifies the public that normal operations have resumed.

(5:41 p.m., March 20) Emergency designation for US Small Business Administration disaster loans:  As of Friday morning, the Small Business Administration has included all counties in Texas in its Economic Injury Disaster Declaration and granted access to its Economic Injury Disaster Loan program, which will provide long-term, low-interest loans to qualifying business across the state.  Texas small businesses who believe they may be eligible for such a loan should visit the SBA’s website where they can directly apply for assistance. The online application is the fastest method to receive a decision about loan eligibility.

(7:17 p.m., March 19) United Way disaster relief fund for Hays and Caldwell Counties: United Way of Hays and Caldwell Counties has a disaster relief fund to assist those economically affected by the COVID-19 virus.  They are working with Community Action, Inc., of Central Texas to distribute these funds directly to those in need throughout the two counties in the coming days, weeks and months.  Residents needing assistance can to to Community Action, Inc., of Central Texas’ website to apply for these funds for help with utility bills and rent.

(5:33 p.m., March 19) Update from HEB: While keeping its stores open, HEB is implementing changes in its home delivery service.  They are now using doorstep delivery for 100 percent of their home delivery orders. Upon arrival with your doorstep delivery order, the driver will now leve all groceries at your front door.  No customer signature will be required. With this update, beer and wine will no longer be available for purchase through home delivery service. Beer and wine are still available for curbside pickup orders.

(2:16 p.m., March 19) Governor’s order closes restaurants, bars, gyms, daycare centers and schools.  Gov. Greg Abbott on Thursday issued broad restrictions statewide to curb the spread of the coronavirus, limiting public gatherings of 10 people or more and shuttering restaurant dining rooms, bars, gyms, daycare centers and schools.  The executive order takes effect midnight Friday and ends midnight April 3 but could be continued. The governor’s order also halts visitations in nursing homes and assisted living centers, except for those in critical care. Restaurant and bar restrictions still allow drive through, pick-up and delivery, and school closures do not restrict districts from offering online learning.

(7:08 p.m., March 18) Hays County offices’ services available online:  Most Hays County offices and services are staffed and available for in-person transactions, you can take care of many of those services online.  The situation is developing rapidly, so if you plan to visit a county office in person, please visit that department’s webpage and call or email the office.

(7 p.m., March 18) Governor grants temporary extension to certain automobile-related requirements.  Governor Abbott has granted a temporary extension to obtain initial registration, renewal of registration and renewal of a permanent disabled parking placard.  The governor also granted a temporary extension for an individual with an expired 30-day temporary permit to obtain another permit or Texas registration. The purpose of this waiver is to prevent customers from having to physically visit a county tax assessor-collector office for these actions.

(7:42 p.m., March 17) Hays County bans meetings of more than 10 people:  Hays County Judge Ruben Becerra Tuesday issued an order prohibiting any public or private community gatherings of 10 persons or more anywhere within Hays County until May 14.  This order is applicable on a county-wide basis unless a municipal government adopts a more restrictive order.

(5:26 a.m., March 17) The CDC has issued updated guidelines for the time a person in quarantine should be fever-free without the use of fever-reducing medications. Now, those quarantined must be fever-free for 72 hours without the use of fever-reducing medications, up from 48.  This applies to those persons already in quarantine in addition to future persons who are quarantined.

5:27 a.m., March 20

COVID-19 News Briefs

(7:17 p.m., March 20) United Way disaster relief fund for Hays and Caldwell Counties: United Way of Hays and Caldwell Counties has a disaster relief fund to assist those economically affected by the COVID-19 virus.  They are working with Community Action, Inc., of Central Texas to distribute these funds directly to those in need throughout the two counties in the coming days, weeks and months.  Residents needing assistance can to to Community Action, Inc., of Central Texas’ website to apply for these funds for help with utility bills and rent.

(5:33 p.m., March 19) Update from HEB: While keeping its stores open, HEB is implementing changes in its home delivery service.  The are now using doorstep delivery for 100 percent of their home delivery orders. Upon arrival with your doorstep delivery order, the driver will now leve all groceries at your front door.  No customer signature will be required. With this update, beer and wine will no longer be available for purchase through home delivery service. Beer and wine are still available for curbside pickup orders.

(2:30 p.m., March 19) COVID-19 confirmed cases in Hays County:  Hays County Judge Ruben Becerra today released on Facebook a list of cities that have had positive coronavirus cases in Hays County.  San Marcos area 1; Kyle/Buda area   2; Wimberley area   0, Dripping Springs area  2

(2:16 p.m., March 19) Governor’s order closes restaurants, bars, gyms, daycare centers and schools.  Gov. Greg Abbott on Thursday issued broad restrictions statewide to curb the spread of the coronavirus, limiting public gatherings of 10 people or more and shuttering restaurant dining rooms, bars, gyms, daycare centers and schools.  The executive order takes effect midnight Friday and ends midnight April 3 but could be continued. The governor’s order also halts visitations in nursing homes and assisted living centers, except for those in critical care. Restaurant and bar restrictions still allow drive through, pick-up and delivery, and school closures do not restrict districts from offering online learning.


Mar. 19th 2:05pm

Abbott bans gatherings, shuts down restaurants, bars, schools

Gov. Greg Abbott on Thursday issued broad restrictions statewide to curb the spread of the coronavirus, limiting public gatherings of 10 people or more and shuttering restaurant dining rooms, bars, gyms and schools.

The executive order takes effect midnight Friday and ends midnight April 3, but could be continued, he said.

“All jurisdictions must work to contain the spread of COVID-19 for at least the next two weeks,” Abbott said at a Thursday news conference, adding that the restrictions are not a shelter-in-place order for the state. “We are doing this now today so that we can get back to business as usual more quickly.”

The governor’s order also halts visitations in nursing homes and assisted living centers, except for those in critical care. Restaurant and bar restrictions still allow drive through, pick up and delivery, and school closures do not restrict districts from offering online learning.

Dr. John Hellerstedt, commissioner of the Department of State Health Services, also declared a public health disaster in Texas.


5 a.m., March 19

(7:08 p.m., March 18) Hays County offices’ services available online:  Most Hays County offices and services are staffed and available for in-person transactions, you can take care of many of those services online.  The situation is developing rapidly, so if you plan to visit a county office in person, please visit that department’s webpage and call or email the office.

(7 p.m., March 18) Governor grants temporary extension to certain automobile-related requirements.  Governor Abbott has granted a temporary extension to obtain initial registration, renewal of registration and renewal of a permanent disabled parking placard.  The governor also granted a temporary extension for an individual with an expired 30-day temporary permit to obtain another permit or Texas registration. The purpose of this waiver is to prevent customers from having to physically visit a county tax assessor-collector office for these actions.

(4:30 p.m., March 18) Hays County reports more COVID-19 Cases:  The Hays County Local Health Department has been notified of five lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19, also known as coronavirus.  Four of the patients had recent travel several days before their symptoms began, so it is believed that they came into contact with a positive COVID-19 case outside of Texas.  One of the newest cases did not have any travel history before becoming ill and did not knowingly come into contact with any other confirmed case, so it is believed that this represents community spreading in Hays County.

(7:42 p.m., March 17) Hays County bans meetings of more than 10 people:  Hays County Judge Ruben Becerra Tuesday issued an order prohibiting any public or private community gatherings of 10 persons or more anywhere within Hays County until May 14.  This order is applicable on a county-wide basis unless a municipal government adopts a more restrictive order.

 (7:12 p.m., March 17) Breakfast/Lunch for free or reduced-qualifying students:  WISD students who qualify to receive free or reduced-price meals may receive breakfast from 8-9:30 a.m. and lunch from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. beginning Monday, March 23 through Friday, April 3 while Wimberley ISD schools are closed for extended spring break.  These meals will be served curbside at Jacobs Well Elementary School at the rear car-ride lane behind the campus. Please have your student(s) in the vehicle when you pick up the meals along with their student IDs.

(5:15 a.m., March 17) Hays County reports third confirmed case of COVID-19: Hays County Epidemiologist Eric Schneider reports a third confirmed case of coronavirus in Hays County.  The adult resident recently traveled to California and was tested on return at a clinic. That person is under self-quarantine at home until they are fever free for 72 hours without using fever-reducing medication.

(7:30 p.m., March 16) Governor Abbott waives STAAR testing requirements:  Governor Greg Abbott on Monday announced that he has waived the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) testing requirements for the 2019-20 school year.  Additionally, Governor Abbott is asking the Department of Education to waive federal testing requirements for the 2019-20 school year.

 (7:00 p.m., March 16) Wimberley bans public assemblies of more than 50 people:  The City of Wimberley’s emergency declaration prohibits all indoor public and private gatherings of more than 50 persons.  

(4:47 p.m., March 16) CDC confirmation no longer needed for a positive determination:  Clarifying what has been somewhat confusing:  CDC has changed its protocols, and specimens are no longer required to be sent to the CDC for confirmation.  All positive tests at commercial labs or state labs are now considered a confirmed positive case.

(5:26 a.m., March 17) The CDC has issued updated guidelines for the time a person in quarantine should be fever-free without the use of fever-reducing medications. Now, those quarantined must be fever-free for 72 hours without the use of fever-reducing medications, up from 48.  This applies to those persons already in quarantine in addition to future persons who are quarantined.

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