Hays County seeing spike in COVID-19 cases, opening more mobile testing centers

Businesses in Hays County, like in other parts of Texas, have started re-opening. For the past few weeks, the number of customers being allowed inside has slowly increased.

However, the business reboot has also done something else; the number of cases of COVID-19 in Hays County has started to spike.

Hays County epidemiologist Eric Schneider said he was expecting this second wave. “We were anticipating our numbers decline as more testing is available it has businesses begin to open,” he said.

RELATED: Residents adapt to new norm as Williamson County sees large spike in COVID-19 cases

Since early March there have been a total of 574 cases. On Thursday, health authorities reported 82 new cases with more than 20 awaiting verification. There are currently 306 active cases in Hays County with 263 recoveries. 42 people have been hospitalized since March and 13 remain hospitalized.

The numbers are a red flag that residents can’t ignore, according to Schneider. “It is shocking to me how a lot of people think that this is over already and we are still not even close to the middle of this epidemic yet,” said Schneider.


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The numbers also show that people between the ages of 20 and 29 account for 42 percent of all the cases in Hays County since March. That age group rate jumped to 70 percent with the recent cases.

Among those out and about on the San Marcos town square Friday was Chris Barnett. He has a mask and had this advice for those his age. “Wear the mask when you go into public, crowded places. I don’t think they are necessary for general walking about, but if you are going in somewhere, I think it’s pretty important to have a mask on,” he said.

For those who refuse to use a mask, and incorrectly believe they’re immune to the virus, Terry Adcock, who is visiting town, made this point. “Protect the old people like their parents, that’s why you wear the mask, it’s not for you, it’s for the old people like us,” Adcock said.

RELATED: Texas has surpassed 2,000 hospitalized coronavirus patients for the first time

RELATED: Austin Public Health reports largest increase in number of COVID-19 cases

It's not just about wearing a mask. The other part of containing this surge is getting a test. A person could have the virus but feel OK and as a result, trigger a domino effect.

“Everybody has their own social circle, everybody’s child house have their own social circles as well, so we can find one person that is positive, and possibly asymptomatic then we can understand who they possibly had in contact with, who they are spreading it with and figure out who those people are in contact with as well and perhaps contain this a little bit better,” said Schneider.

Two free pop-up mobile testing sites are being set up in San Marcos by the state emergency management agency in order to reach out to minority communities.

RELATED: Free COVID-19 testing scheduled in San Marcos on June 14 & 20

The first site will be at Bonham Pre-k School this Sunday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Saturday the 20th, another site will open at Bowie Elementary. Both locations will have drive-thru and walk-up lanes.

Appointments are not required. The one-day pop-up sites are in addition to three other mobile testing centers that Hays County is opening next week:

  • Simon Middle School in Kyle – Wednesday, June 17 from 4-8 p.m.
  • Uhland Elementary in Uhland – Thursday, June 18 from 4-8 p.m.
  • McCormick Middle School in Buda – Friday, June 19 from 4-8 p.m.

TDEM continues to offer free testing sites across the state and the locations can be found online.


FOX 7 Austin is working to keep you up to date with coronavirus, with both local and national developments. You can also get the latest COVID-19 news from around the country at coronavirusnow.com.