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 147. Of the positive cases, 71 are recovered and out of quarantine.
There are nine tests still pending and awaiting results.
Texas State University President Denise Trauth announced the launch of Bobcat Cares, a program to provide millions in financial assistance to students impacted by COVID-19.
In a Thursday afternoon email, Trauth said that Texas State will provide funding to “enrolled and eligible students with COVID-19 related expenses, emergency grants to all students enrolled in summer courses, pro-rated refunds of certain spring semester charges, and a new scholarship to assist with fee and tuition costs for the fall 2020 semester.”
Students can apply for funding eligibility through a brief online form beginning April 27. Trauth said that the emergency grants are based on student expenses related to campus operations disrupted by COVID-19 rather than financial aid programs.
The San Marcos CISD board of trustees approved the purchase of 100 additional wi-fi hotspots for students in need at a meeting earlier this week.
Trustees discussed purchasing hotspots for households without internet access to guarantee students can access virtual classes and materials. According to the board book, the 100 hotspots will cost the district about $16,500.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced yesterday that Texans will be able to visit hair salons, stores, restaurants and movie theaters earlier next month once these spaces have been reconfigured for distancing measures. Abbott added that beaches will be open this summer.
“We’re going to be making an announcement opening so many different types of businesses, where you’re going to be able to go to a hair salon … go to any type of retail establishment you want to go to, different things like that, with a structure in place that will ensure that we slow the spread of the coronavirus,” Abbott said.
Abbott cautioned that the COVID-19 virus is “still here”, but reassured Texans that he is not moving too fast to reopen businesses and it can be done “in a safe way that doesn’t lead to retrenchment.”