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COVID-19 Information for Hays County Residents

Confirmed cases of COVID-19 (coronavirus) are being reported in Hays County. The Dashboard below is updated twice a day at about 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.  It is important to be prepared as the virus is spreading nationwide and information, number of cases, and locations change quickly. Continue reading these messages to find out what to do to avoid getting the virus, preparations you can make, and what to do if you get sick.

On March 26, 2020 at 11 p.m. Hays County residents are under a Stay at Home and Curfew Order. Read all about it.

Hays County answers your questions about the Stay at Home and Curfew Order.
The page is updated frequently as questions come to the attention of the COVID-19 Work Group.

Here is Hays County Sheriff Gary Cutler’s Statement on Response to the Curfew.

Our rolling list of notifications is at www.HaysInformed.com, where Hays County, cities, school districts, and law enforcement post emergency or critical information of interest to a countywide audience.

Hays County residents can now call a hotline for answers to their non-emergency COVID-19 questions. Operators are available in English and Spanish.This hotline is for answers to health questions about COVID-19 — safety practices, symptoms, quarantining, testing, etc. Operators cannot answer questions about the Stay at Home Order and Curfew, or other general questions.

Fact Sheet in English y español. Y mas:

Renewal requirements for SNAP & Medicaid temporarily waived.

Find out more about COVID-19 treatment and prevention in English. Información en español para la prevención y tratamiento de la Enfermedad del Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19)

Be aware of scams and price-gouging!

And the FDA is warning citizens about fraudulent COVID-19 Home Test Kits: None are approved as of now. More on test kits here.

Do you think you’ve been exposed to coronavirus? Are you experiencing symptoms? This information might help you determine what you should do, and how you can protect your family and others.

The Texas Department of State Health Services tracks coronavirus cases in Texas and updates the numbers daily.

Most Hays County office lobbies are closed, but staff are still working to help you take care of your business with the County. Here are some ways. Please visit the webpage of the office you need to contact for additional information. They are located at the dropdowns on https://hayscountytx.com. 

Local/State Orders

Actions/waivers from Governor Abbott

Symptoms of COVID-19
There is no special treatment for COVID-19, nor is there a vaccine at this time. The virus is not a flu virus, so doctor-prescribed treatments for flu like Tamiflu are of no use. The best known treatment at this time is to take a fever-reducing medication containing acetaminophen or ibuprofen, and to self-isolate until you have been fever-free for 72 hours (recently increased from 48 hours) WITHOUT the use of fever-reducing medications.

Most people who contract COVID-19 have a reaction similar to a mild to moderate case of Flu and do not necessarily need to see a doctor unless their symptoms worsen. A fever that spikes to 104 degrees, or shortness of breath, are symptoms that may need medical attention and you should call your healthcare provider or emergency room. The most at-risk populations include the elderly and persons with compromised immune systems.

Most medical offices are requesting that you call before coming in if you believe you might have COVID-19. If you are experiencing significant shortness of breath you may be directed to a hospital emergency room. Those emergency rooms may become very crowded with seriously ill patients if COVID-19 begins to spread throughout Hays County, so please do not go to an emergency room unless you feel you have a true emergency, such as shortness of breath or extremely high fever. The Hays County Local Health Department, which does NOT do testing for COVID-19, works with area hospitals to determine availability at hospitals for those who are sickest.

Prevention Tips:

  1. Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds several times a day, including between your fingers and underneath your nails. Handwashing is considered the best way to remove germs and dirt, and hand sanitizers should be used only when handwashing is not available. The hand sanitizers should be at least 60 percent alcohol to be effective.
  2. Avoid handshaking and high-fives
  3. Avoid touching your face – especially your eyes, nose, and mouth
  4. Stay home when you feel sick
  5. Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue then put the tissue in the trash, or use the crook of your elbow if a tissue isn’t available
  6. Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household disinfectant cleaning spray or wipe. Clean cell and desk phones, computer keyboards, door handles, and work surfaces often.
  7. Face masks are not considered an effective way to prevent someone from catching a virus unless you have close, frequent contact with a sick person; however, they are an option for sick people to use to keep from spreading the virus.
  8. Avoid travel to areas that have been designated high-risk areas because of multiple verified cases of Corona

If you are concerned that you have been exposed to coronavirus, contact your healthcare provider or the Hays County Local Health Department at 512-393-5525 to discuss your exposure risk. If you are experiencing symptoms you may be directed to your health care provider or local hospital emergency room. The Hays County Local Health Department has a monitoring protocol in place which will be explained to you if your symptoms warrant it.

Information below courtesy of the Texas Department of State Health Services.

What are the symptoms of COVID‑19?

Patients with COVID‑19 have reportedly had mild to severe respiratory illness. Symptoms can include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

At this time, CDC believes that symptoms of COVID‑19 may appear in as few as 2 days or as long as 14 days after exposure. This is based on what has been seen previously as the incubation period of MERS coronaviruses.

How does COVID‑19 spread?

Current understanding about how the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID‑19) spreads is largely based on what is known about similar coronaviruses.

The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person:

  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
  • Via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
  • These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

It may be possible that a person can get COVID‑19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

People are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic (the sickest). Some spread might be possible before people show symptoms; there have been reports of this with this new coronavirus, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

Early on, many of the patients in the COVID‑19 outbreak in Wuhan, China had some link to a large seafood and live animal market, suggesting animal-to-person spread. However, it is now clear that person-to-person spread is occurring. There is much more to learn about the transmissibility, severity, and other features associated with COVID‑19, and investigations are ongoing.

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