The City of San Marcos will no longer require face masks inside its facilities as well at outdoor public settings.
The city announced that it revised its requirements following Gov. Greg Abbott’s Executive Order GA-36, which prohibits government entities in Texas from requiring or mandating mask wearing. The city’s revised rules went into effect May 19, which makes face masks optional but not required for employees and visitors regardless of COVID-19 vaccination status.
“We have followed CDC guidance as we’ve made decisions for the safety of residents and staff throughout the pandemic, and it makes sense to continue that practice now,” City Manager Bert Lumbreras said in a statement. “These changes restore individual personal freedom and the right to make choices while maintaining consistency with CDC guidelines and Governor Abbott’s latest order. I commend the responsible actions taken by our community over the past 15 months and encourage everyone to take advantage of vaccine availability for the safety of themselves and others.”
According to Abbott’s Executive Order GA-36, local governments or officials that attempt to impose a mask mandate or issue conflicting requirements can be subject to a fine of up to $1,000.
“The Lone Star State continues to defeat COVID-19 through the use of widely-available vaccines, antibody therapeutic drugs, and safe practices utilized by Texans in our communities,” Abbott said. “Texans, not government, should decide their best health practices … We can continue to mitigate COVID-19 while defending Texans’ liberty to choose whether or not they mask up.”
As of May 17, more than 25,000 San Marcans living in zip codes 78666 and 78667 have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. According to the Texas Department of State Health Services, 25,175 San Marcos residents are fully vaccinated, while 32,685 citizens have received at least one vaccine dose.
Additionally, active COVID-19 cases continue to decline in San Marcos with cases dropping below 100. As of May 3, the city had 170 active cases, but now has 87 as of Wednesday, according to the Hays County Local Health Department.
The city’s public facilities reopened on March 3 after a closure that spanned from mid December aimed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Cape’s Park, Thompson’s Island and Rio Vista pool, however, remain closed, the city said.
The city discourages anyone who may be experiencing COVID-19-related symptoms from entering its public facilities, parks and recreational areas. Some service options are available for city customers to handle business remotely, the city said. Additionally, group meetings may be scheduled in person or remotely on a case-by-case basis.
To see more regarding departmental procedures visit www.sanmarcostx.gov.
Written by Nick Castillo