This is page is periodically updated with new and changing information. Last update: May 13, 2021
Vaccine safety and efficacy:
In a recent national study that includes participants from Central Texas, the CDC collected data from 24 hospitals in 14 states between January and March of this year. They looked at the population of people age 65 and above who came into hospitals with flu or COVID-19 symptoms and tracked whether the individuals had one, two or zero doses of a COVID-19 vaccine (only Pfizer and Moderna were used during this study). Researchers found the COVID-19 vaccines were 94 percent effective in protecting people who had had both doses of the vaccine and 64 percent effective in people who had had just one dose. See the full study here.
A separate study that began in 2020 of 3,950 health care personnel, first responders, and other essential and frontline workers showed vaccine effectiveness of full immunization was 90 percent and 80 percent for partial immunization. The majority of participants were 18–49 years old. See the results of that study here.
Why get a 2nd dose?
Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, which use messenger RNA (mRNA) to tell your body to build the coronavirus’ signature spike protein, were the first two vaccines in the United States to earn FDA authorization via an Emergency Use Authorization. These vaccines help the human body produce the antibodies needed to combat the Coronavirus. Why is it important to get two shots? The first dose helps your body create an immune response, while the second dose is a booster that strengthens your immunity to the virus.
Data from the clinical trials found the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to be 95% effective after two doses and the Moderna vaccine 94.1% effective, meaning they prevented people who got the vaccine from getting COVID-19.
Getting that 2nd dose is important. If you miss your second dose for any reason, get it as soon as possible. The CDC recommends the second dose of Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines should be administered up to six weeks after the first dose; in that case you do not need to restart the two-dose series again.
The second shot produces a stronger immune system response, so reactions are more common. These temporary symptoms are expected, normal reactions when receiving a vaccine. Each person reacts differently to a vaccine, so it’s possible you won’t experience any symptoms.
Some of the reported reactions to the mRNA vaccines include:
- Injection site discomfort, such as pain, swelling, redness, or bruising
- Muscle pain
- Joint pain
- Lymph node swelling
Below are some ways to decrease any discomfort you might feel after the vaccine, especially the second dose:
- Drink plenty of fluids
- Apply cool compresses to the injection site
- Talk with your doctor about taking over-the-counter pain relievers/fever reducers
Above information found on the University of Missouri website: https://bit.ly/3hmMwh4
Have You Been Fully Vaccinated?
In general, people are considered fully vaccinated: ±
- 2 weeks after their second dose in a 2-dose series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or
- 2 weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine
If you don’t meet these requirements, you are NOT fully vaccinated. Keep taking all precautions until you are fully vaccinated.
**COVID-19 Vaccine Clinics/Clinicas de Vaccunas COVID-19**
Moderna 1st dose COVID-19 vaccine clinic May 13 at Dunbar Recreation Center in San Marcos; Pfizer doses for those age 12-15 will also be available.
Pfizer 1st dose clinics at Hays CISD Central Office/Old Transportation Site; those age 12-15 will be able to get vaccinated with parental consent.
Upcoming vaccine opportunities (1st dose):
We know there are many questions along with confusion and even misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines.
Vaccine Appointments in Hays County
**All those age 12+ now eligible to receive a Pfzier COVID-19 vaccine.**
Hays County opened our portal of available appointments to the public. Please visit our vaccine scheduler on our Hays Informed website for more information. (Programador de citas de vacunas COVID-19 en espanol)
Please note – you will be asked to create an account for the sign-up system (just enter a valid email and a password you can easily remember); then you can login and sign up for an appointment.
No internet? Need help? Please share this information with those who do not have internet access or those who are not technologically savvy. A call-in number is now available Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 12-4 p.m. Those individuals who need help signing up can call 833-521-2766 and a volunteer will assist them in getting registered. This number can also be used for homebound individuals who would like to set up a mobile vaccination appointment.
The state’s Expert Vaccine Allocation Panel recommended opening vaccination to everyone who falls under the current Food and Drug Administration emergency use authorizations. All vaccines are authorized for people age 18 and older. (Note: The Pfizer vaccine is authorized for those 16 and older.) As of May 11, 2021, discussion at the state level is underway to administer the vaccine to 12-15-year-olds.
Important items to note:
- Under DSHS rules, all adults are now eligible to receive a vaccine.
- Be sure to double check the spelling and accuracy of your email address when signing up for appointments.
- We are using email, phone calls and text messages to convey information to those who are signed up for an appointment. Be sure to check spam folders and voicemail.
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org with scheduling questions.
- Some vaccines are distributed by appointment only. We are also offering no-appointment clinics.
- It’s best to wear short sleeves to your appointment.
- You will need to sign a consent form to receive the vaccine.
- Following administration of the dose, you will need to wait for about 15 minutes for observation in case you have a reaction to the vaccine
- During your first shot appointment, you will make the appointment for your second dose. It should be at the same location and time as your first appointment, but that may change. Check your email and texts. Be sure to check spam folders and voicemail.
- Children are not allowed at vaccine clinics, unless they have an appointment (they must be at least 12 years old for Pfizer and at least 18 years old for Moderna).
Check back for updates and new information as the situation is fluid and often changing. Your patience is much appreciated as we work through this together as a community.
- Read more about COVID-19 on the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) website.
- Questions about the State’s COVID-19 vaccine roll-out plan? Read more here.
- Here is a vaccine request sign-up option from UT Austin Dell Hospital for people in the Phase 1B group.
- Locations around Central Texas that may have available doses.
- For hospital capacity data, visit this DSHS website page.
Attention: Curative is currently only accepting patients by appointment for COVID-19 testing at the locations around Hays County. This will be in effect until further notice.
NOTE: If Curative has to close due to poor weather, such as: snow, heavy rainstorms or wind, they will cancel all existing appointments for that day, and their software will automatically reschedule the appointment for the next day they are open. Many locations operate seven days a week. You should receive an email with the new date and time.
Testing Locations – Click here to make an appointment with Curative
Monday-Friday 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Sat & Sun 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Parking lot at Main St. & China St.,
Catty-corner from Main St. Dental (near public restrooms)
Monday-Friday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Sat & Sun 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
San Marcos CISD
2601 Rattler Rd.
San Marcos, TX
Monday-Friday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Sat & Sun 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
401 Rebel Drive (soon to be Veterans Drive)
Daily 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Kiosk at San Marcos Library
625 E Hopkins St.
San Marcos, TX
Monday-Friday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Sat & Sun 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Hays CISD PAC
979 Kohlers Crossing
Monday-Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Saturday 8 a.m.-Noon
Wimberley Community Center
14068 RR 12
You do not have to be experiencing symptoms.
COVID-19 testing is currently available for residents of Hays County. The cities of San Marcos, Wimberley, Buda, Dripping Springs and Kyle are offering free COVID-19 testing. Curative has mobile testing sites throughout Hays County. The tests are free to all individuals and no out-of-pocket costs will be charged. Curative is now billing private insurance companies but, again, there will be no out-of-pocket cost to the individual being tested. Those without insurance will not be turned away and will be able to receive the test for free. Use the QR code or click here to select a time slot.
Click here to find other testing locations throughout Hays County; many of which accept private insurance. There are a few walk-in/drive thru COVID-19 testing sites in Hays County. Some sites may require a physician referral to be tested. Contact your medical provider or the Hays County hotline for further instructions, 512.393.5525.
If you are not exhibiting symptoms but still would like to get tested, for example because you were exposed to someone with a positive result, contact the Hays County Local Health Department at 512.393.5525 OR make an appointment with Curative.
El Condado de Hays se ha asociado con dos instalaciones médicas de Live Oak para ofrecer pruebas gratuitas de COVID-19 para personas con síntomas que no tienen seguro, tienen seguro insuficiente o son indigentes.
Current COVID-19 Orders
The current order in Hays County is an extension of the Disaster Declaration.
New CDC Guidelines (12/3/20); HCLHD Still Recommends 14-day Quarantine
The Hays County Local Health Department (HCLHD) is recommending that all Hays County residents, ISDs, and businesses continue to follow the 14-day quarantine schedule. We will continue to assess our situation and re-evaluate these recommendations based on the statistics reported to our department. Read the full statement from the Hays County Local Health Department here. Note: school districts can make the decision to follow the CDC guidelines or the HCLHD recommendation.
As of April 2021, the Hays County Local Health Department provides updates on COVID-19 Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays via news release, website and social media. The COVID-19 dashboard is updated Monday thru Friday, with the exception of County holidays. On Mondays, COVID updates include data from Saturday, Sunday and Monday.
The Dashboard below is updated at approximately 4:30 p.m. M-F with the exception of Hays County holidays. A news release is then issued at about 5 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays with the latest numbers. We also post the update of new cases on our Facebook page and Twitter account.
NOTE: The October 28 graph “Daily Change in New Cases” shows -273 new cases;
that is because duplicate names were removed during an internal data review.
Local School Dashboards
Many local school districts have their own COVID-19 dashboards. Please see the links below for information.
The Texas Department of State Health Services tracks coronavirus cases in Texas and updates the numbers daily.
Emergency Cash Assistance Program (ECAP)
The ECAP Fund was a collaboration between Hays County, the City of Kyle, PeopleFund, and the Greater San Marcos Partnership (GSMP). The fund provided grants of up to $10,000 to qualifying businesses on a first-come, first served basis. The loan agency PeopleFund, a nonprofit community lender, managed the application process. Learn more about the program on the GSMP website.
COVID-19 Relief Fund
COVID-19 Relief Funds were available for Hays County residents who have been affected by COVID related loss of income and need rental, mortgage, or utility assistance. Visit the BR3T website for more information. The deadline to submit for assistance was December 22, 2020.
Check out our COVID-19 Fact Sheet, which offers a range of information to help clear up myths and confusion.
Local and State Orders since the Beginning of the Pandemic
January 8, 2021 – information on capacity rollbacks in Hays County per Governor Abbott’s Executive Order GA-32:
Executive Order October 7, 2020
Governor Greg Abbott issued an Executive Order on October 7 to open bars and similar establishments at up to 50% capacity in conjunction with county officials. In hospital regions with low COVID-19 hospitalizations, County Judges will be able to opt their county into opening bars beginning October 14th, provided they assist in enforcing health protocols. The Governor’s Executive Order also increases the occupancy levels for all business establishments other than bars to 75%. Read the full order here. See the Governor’s video about the new Order here.
Executive Order September 17, 2020
Governor Greg Abbott announced on September 17 additional reopening plans for Texas. The determining factor in reopening is based on the percentage of hospitalizations in each of the state’s 22 regions. If COVID hospitalizations are less than 15% of all hospitalizations for 7 consecutive days, then that region is safe enough to allow additional openings. The percentage of COVID hospitalizations in the Austin region is 3.7% and has remained under 15% for 7 consecutive days. Therefore, our region can proceed with the additional openings outlined below.
𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐟𝐨𝐥𝐥𝐨𝐰𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐛𝐮𝐬𝐢𝐧𝐞𝐬𝐬 𝐜𝐚𝐭𝐞𝐠𝐨𝐫𝐢𝐞𝐬 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐜𝐮𝐫𝐫𝐞𝐧𝐭𝐥𝐲 𝐡𝐚𝐯𝐞 𝐚 𝟓𝟎% 𝐜𝐚𝐩𝐚𝐜𝐢𝐭𝐲 𝐜𝐚𝐧 𝐢𝐧𝐜𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐬𝐞 𝐭𝐨 𝐚 𝟕𝟓% 𝐜𝐚𝐩𝐚𝐜𝐢𝐭𝐲 𝐨𝐧 𝐌𝐨𝐧𝐝𝐚𝐲, 𝐒𝐞𝐩𝐭. 𝟐𝟏:
- All retail stores
- All restaurants
- All office buildings
- All manufacturing
- All Museums and Libraries
- All Gyms
Hospitals in the Austin region can return to ordinary elective surgical procedures.
Click here to see the full Executive Order.
Below are previous Executive Orders
- On April 27, Governor Abbott issued an Executive Order and press release on phased opening of Texas businesses, effective May 1.
- On April 17 Governor Abbott issued an Executive Order on taking the first steps to reopen Texas businesses
- April 6, 2020 CDC Recommendations on Public Use of Cloth Face Masks
- On April 2, 2020, the Governor’s Statewide Executive Order on COVID-19 went into effect.
Hays County Judge Issues COVID-19 Order #4
Note: Orders by the Texas Governor supersede any orders by county or municipal entities.
- See the signed COVID-19 4th Order (Hays.Co.Judge) (6.18.20).
- Amendment to COVID-19 4th Order
- Find answers to Frequently Asked Questions about the Order.
Hays County Judge Issues Disaster Declaration Extension
At the February 23, 2021, meeting of the Hays County Commissioners Court, the members approved an extension of the Declaration of Local Disaster issued in March 2020 at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
CARES Act Funding Allocation
To see how the CARES Act funding was allocated for Hays County, see this document.
Confirmed: A case that is laboratory confirmed using a molecular diagnostic test (for example: PCR, Currative RCT-PCR, and Abbott ID Now RCT-PCR)
Probable: A case that:
- Using a method approved or authorized by the FDA or designated authority, meets presumptive laboratory evidence of
- Detection of specific antigen (Ag) in a clinical specimen, OR
- Detection of a specific antibody in serum, plasma, or whole blood indicative of a new or recent infection
- AND meets clinical criteria
- Meets vital records criteria (death certificate lists COVID-19 disease or SARS-CoV-2 as a cause of death or a significant condition contributing to death) with no confirmatory laboratory testing performed for COVID-19.
- At least two of the following symptoms: fever (measured or subjective), chills, rigors, myalgia, headache, sore throat, new olfactory and taste disorder(s); OR
- At least one of the following symptoms: cough, shortness of breath, or difficulty breathing; OR
- Severe respiratory illness with at least one of the following:
- Clinical or radiographic evidence of pneumonia, or
- Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS)
Resources for Persons Affected by COVID-19. If you need food, funds, mental health support, a job, etc., take a look at this list of area resources. It includes info for small businesses and nonprofits, as well. Additional information from Workforce Solutions Rural Capital Area for Jobseekers and Employers is also available.
Our rolling list of notifications is at www.HaysInformed.com, where Hays County, cities, school districts, and law enforcement officials post emergency or critical information of interest to a countywide audience. This is also where you can sign up for the COVID-19 vaccine.
CDC Info on COVID‑19, Including Symptoms & Prevention
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.
See the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website for updated information on COVID-19.
Prevention tips are also on the CDC website.
Beware Scams and Price-gouging
The FDA is warning citizens about fraudulent COVID-19 Home Test Kits. More on test kits here.
Don’t Flush those Wipes
Here is useful info from Dripping Springs that benefits all city sewers and OSSFs countywide: Watch What You Flush to save yourself some back-up heartbreak and money.