By Madyson Sanchez
Senior News Reporter
SAN MARCOS, Texas – The Hays County Local Health Department reported five new lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases overnight and today, bringing the total number of cases in Hays County to 160. Of the positive cases, 78 are recovered and out of quarantine.
There are 13 tests still pending and awaiting results.
In an April 28 press release, Hays County announced its partnership with two Live Oak medical facilities to offer free COVID-19 tests to symptomatic individuals who are uninsured, underinsured or indigent.
Starting this Wednesday, these individuals can call the COVID-19 hotline at (512) 393-5525 Monday through Friday to begin the screening process. Individuals must express financial difficulty, meet the criteria for testing and be a Hays County resident to qualify for free testing.
The Live Oak facilities will also test their own patients by appointment and will see insured or self-pay individuals during the same period as free testing is offered.
Gov. Greg Abbott announced yesterday that his statewide stay-at-home order regarding COVID-19 will expire as scheduled on Thursday, April 30. Beginning Friday, Abbott plans to reopen the state’s economy in three phases as described: “Texans Helping Texans: The Governor’s Report to Open Texas.”
Stores, malls, movie theaters, restaurants, museums and libraries may open at 25% occupancy on May 1. Abbott said outdoor sports like golf and tennis may resume as long as social distancing guidelines are observed and there are no more than four participants per match.
Hair salons, barbershops, bowling alleys, video game arcades, tattoo shops, gyms and massage spas must wait until at least mid-May to reopen.
“Opening Texas must occur in phases,” Abbott said on Monday. “Obviously, not all businesses can open all at once. A more strategic approach is required to ensure that we don’t reopen only to have to close down again.”
Around May 18, Abbott hopes to move Texas into phase two where businesses can open up to 50% capacity if there is not a new COVID-19 outbreak.