This is page is periodically updated with new and changing information.
Last update: July 28.
NOTE: Hays County Local Health Department provides updates on COVID-19 Monday thru Friday via news release, website and social media. The COVID-19 dashboard is updated Monday thru Friday as well. On Mondays, COVID updates include data from Saturday, Sunday and Monday.
This page provides an update of lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 reported in Hays County, along with how to get tested, useful information, local Orders, helpful resources and tips on how to avoid getting the virus.
Hays County is working with its long-standing partners, Premiere ER and CommuniCare, to establish permanent COVID-19 testing sites. More information about locations and times will be shared as soon as it is available. The current timeline is to have these sites up and running by mid-August. Tests will be free and available to all Hays County residents. You will not have to be experiencing symptoms. If you want a test, you’ll need to call ahead to secure an appointment time because the number of tests will be limited each day.
Click here to find testing locations throughout Hays County. There are a few walk-in/drive thru COVID-19 testing sites in Hays County. Some sites, which follow CDC guidelines for testing, 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.
Free COVID-19 testing is available for uninsured, underinsured, and indigent residents of Hays County. See more information here.
The Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) is offering free COVID-19 testing at locations around the state. You can also Visit the TDEM website for information on testing locations in the Central Texas area.
If you are concerned 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 moderate to severe 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.
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.
The Dashboard below is updated at about 4:30 p.m. M-F. A news release is then issued at approximately 5 p.m. Monday-Friday with the latest numbers. We also post the update of new cases (M-F) on our Facebook page and Twitter account.
Hays County Judge Issues COVID-19 Order #4
On June 18, Hays County Judge Ruben Becerra issued a new COVID-19 Order, which among other provisions, requires the wearing of masks in public (with some exceptions). This Order went into effect June 22.
- 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 July 14 meeting of the Hays County Commissioners Court, the members approved an extension of the Declaration of Local Disaster issued in March at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic. See the new
Reopening of County Offices
Offices, lobbies and courts within the Hays County system are in varying stages of reopening to the public as we navigate this new world with COVID-19. While many offices were closed during April and May, staff continued working to help you take care of your business with the County. See how County staff are working to continue serving our residents. Please visit the web page of the office you need to contact for additional information. They are located at the dropdowns on https://hayscountytx.com.
Below is a quick status of office/lobbies/courts as of July 27. Please contact the office or court directly if you have questions. All members of the public entering County buildings should wear face coverings and maintain a distance of six feet between themselves and others who are not in their own family.
All Hays County Clerk’s office locations are assisting customers by appointment only for Marriage License issuance and Birth/Death certificate issuance.
We will continue to offer all other services by E-Record, E-file, mail, fax, telephone and email. Our offices have been professionally disinfected, our staff have been quarantined for the CDC recommended time period and have been tested with no additional positive test currently.
We will issue appointments with the following guidelines:
- Face masks must be worn the entire time in the office.
- Only applicants are allowed in the lobby; no one else, including children, may enter.
- No same-day appointments.
*County Court at Law
Judge, County Court-at-Law, 1, Robert Updegrove
Judge, County Court-at-Law, 2 Chris Johnson
Judge, County Court-at-Law, 3, Tacie Zelhart
This office has remained open to serve all litigants and the citizens of Hays County. As Ordered by the Supreme Court of Texas and the state Office of Court Administration, during the pandemic, hearings were held remotely via teleconference. This Court continues to have hearings via teleconference. In-person hearings will commence on June 1. The lobby is open. We request everyone call before entering, if possible, at 512.393.7625 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to set a court date or receive additional information.
Elections Office, Jennifer Anderson – Currently the Elections Office is open to the public.
*Justice of the Peace 1-1, Judge Prado – Judge Prado’s office is open.
*Justice of the Peace 2, Judge Smith
No jury trials are taking place until August 1. Some cases have been held virtually and our office will continue to have virtual hearing until in person hearings are approved.
*Justice of the Peace 3, Judge Cable
This office has remained open. The hours are Monday – Thursday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Friday 8 a.m. to noon.
*Justice of the Peace 4 – Judge Burns
Effective immediately, and until further notice, all hearings and bench trials in Justice Court 4 will be heard by Zoom conference. By order of the Texas Supreme Court, jury trials may not be held until August 1, 2020, at the earliest.
*Justice of the Peace 5, Judge Cary
The JP-5 in Buda is open M-F, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Note: Hays County Courts and District Courts recognize the need to ensure the health and safety of litigants, attorneys, visitors, court staff, judges, and other individuals entering the buildings housing the courts. Therefore, the courts of Hays County have implemented a series of protective measures. The full list can be found on our website.
County Judge, Ruben Becerra – staff is available to answer the phone, but Judge Becerra is continuing to hold meetings, as much as possible, through phone or digital platforms.
Pct. 1, Debbie Ingalsbe –staff is available to answer the phone but Commissioner Ingalsbe is continuing to hold meetings, through phone or digital platforms as well as in person. Please contact her office to schedule appointments.
Pct. 2, Mark Jones – staff is available to answer the phone, but Commissioner Jones is continuing to hold meetings, as much as possible, through phone or digital platforms.
Pct. 3, Lon Shell – staff is available to answer the phone, but Commissioner Shell is continuing to hold meetings, as much as possible, through phone or digital platforms.
Pct. 4, Walt Smith – staff is available to answer the phone but Commissioner Smith is continuing to hold meetings, as much as possible, through phone or digital platforms.
Tax Office, Jenifer O’Kane – All County tax offices are open to the public*. At the Government Center, individuals will queue in the hallway outside the Tax Office. If the line extends to the main hallway, deputies will ask those persons to wait outside until they are called back in. A similar approach will be implemented at the precinct offices. The drive-thru at the Government Center in San Marcos is back to normal operating hours, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday-Friday.
*As of July 28, Hays County Precinct 4 Tax Assessor’s Office (Dripping Springs) has re-opened. However, the Dripping Springs Tax Office will close daily between the hours of 12 p.m. – 1 p.m. until further notice.
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.
Local and State 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.
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.
Hays County residents can call a hotline for answers to their non-emergency COVID-19 questions. Operators are available in English and Spanish. HOTLINE 512.393.5525. 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.
Beware Scams and Price-gouging
The FDA is warning citizens about fraudulent COVID-19 Home Test Kits. More on test kits here.
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. 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.
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.
- 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.
- Avoid handshaking and high-fives.
- Avoid touching your face – especially your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Stay home when you feel sick.
- 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.
- 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.
- Avoid travel to areas that have been designated high-risk areas because of multiple verified cases of Corona.
- Wear a mask or face covering when in public places.
CDC Info on COVID‑19
See the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website for updated information on COVID-19.
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.