By Madyson Sanchez
Senior News Reporter
SAN MARCOS, TEXAS – The Hays County Local Health Department reported four new lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases overnight and today, bringing the total number of cases in Hays County to 125. Fifty-four of the positive cases are recovered and out of quarantine.
There are 27 tests still pending and awaiting results.
Many hotel owners in San Marcos are asking the city for financial relief as the hotel industry faces a dramatic drop due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In a letter to the mayor and city manager, local hotel owners asked for five additional financial relief efforts beyond the city waiving late fees for hotel occupancy tax payments due from April through June.
The group asked for efforts including a forgiveness program similar to the Still Budaful Stimulus Program authorized by the Buda City Council to assist businesses affected by the pandemic.
Many hotels had to lay off as many as 60% of their employees and are still anticipating an 80% decline in April and May compared to last year’s numbers.
“It almost makes it impossible, day-to-day, just to operate,” said Vikash Patel, president of Haven Management Services.
Central Health-funded CommUnityCare Health Centers is opening more drive-up testing locations in eastern Travis County next week. Testing will be offered Monday through Friday in communities like Manor, Colony Park, Austin’s Colony/Hornsby Bend, Del Valle, Pflugerville, and Dove Springs.
Medical experts will first screen every patient at each testing site for COVID-19 symptoms. If a patient meets certain criteria, like fever, cough or difficulty breathing, they will be administered a test.
Drive-up testing sites are dependent on the daily availability of limited testing kits. For information about testing, call CommUnityCare’s COVID-19 Hotline at 512-978-8775.