HAYS COUNTY, Texas - Hays County Judge Ruben Becerra called the governor's decision to lift the mask mandate "ambitious, but premature and reckless."
Becerra said in Hays County less than 0.7 percent of people have been vaccinated, meaning the threat of COVID-19 is not over.
Almost all of the San Marcos businesses that have survived the last year are operating at some capacity. "But I think San Marcos is still struggling," said Jason Mock, president and CEO of the San Marcos Area Chamber of Commerce.
Just like most Texas cities, the hospitality industry in San Marcos has been slammed with shutdown orders and occupancy limits. "Having the nice weather, having the students here has added a little bit more of a boost than maybe other smaller towns," Mock said.
Nearly a year since the San Marcos mayor first shut down businesses in the city, Gov. Greg Abbott let them know they could return to 100 percent occupancy beginning March 10.
"It has been a year, not to say that we're out of the woods by any means, but we have to continue to move forward. And I think this is a way that we can do that," said Mock.
The governor also announced the statewide mask mandate would end on March 10. In response to that move by the governor, Becerra wrote: "We must continue to follow the science. This is not behind us."
Mock said business owners have differing opinions about when masks should be worn.
"What we're hearing is that a lot of businesses, or some, are looking forward to removing the mask and saying, 'Hey, you can come in without a mask.' And you're hearing from others that are saying, 'No, we're gonna stay the course that we have been on for the last year almost, and continue to wear the mask and mandate that, if you are coming into our store, that mask must be worn,'" Mock said.
Mock encourages those visiting businesses to abide by the rules each owner puts in place. "Be patient as a customer, know that a business has that right to mandate a mask, if that's what that owner would like to do, also know that that owner has the right not to mandate a mask, if that's the case that they want to go down," said Mock.
San Marcos business owners or employees are able to call police if a customer refuses to abide by any store policies.