WILLIAMSON COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — Following updated Centers for Disease Control recommendations, a number of counties and cities in Central Texas are limiting gatherings.
Williamson County issued an order Monday to limit gatherings to no more than 50 people to limit any spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus.
The ban on public or private gatherings take effect at 6 p.m. Monday, March 16 and go through May 11. Williamson County Judge Bill Gravell adopted the orders.
“Williamson County is dedicated to keeping all of our people safe and healthy. Extraordinary measures had to be taken in order to limit the possible spread of the Coronavirus in Williamson County, potentially overwhelming our healthcare system,” said County Judge Bill Gravell. “In Williamson County, we are dedicated to being prepared, not scared.”
The order does not apply to the daily operations of organizations such as schools, daycare facilities, institutions of higher education or public or private sector businesses.
However, Williamson County said it does urge businesses to consider telecommuting options, suspend non-essential employee travel, minimize employees working close together and encouraging people to stay home when they are sick.
The San Marcos mayor signed an order Monday to prohibit groups of 50 or more people from gathering, and temporarily closed facilities around the city.
The order from Mayor Jane Hughson goes into effect at 2 a.m. Tuesday, March 17, and lasts until May 11.
“A Community Gathering does not include spaces where 50 or more persons may be in transit on buses, trains or airplanes; or waiting for transit, such as airports, bus stops or terminals,” it wrote in a release. “In addition, it does not pertain to office space or residential buildings; grocery stores, restaurants, shopping malls, or other retail establishments; hospitals, medical offices and facilities; schools or institutes of higher learning.
The city will also close the San Marcos Public Library, Activity Center, Senior Center, Discovery Center and will adjust hours for the San Marcos Regional Animal Shelter.
The city will still have its city council meeting Tuesday, but it is canceling all board and commission meetings except the Planning & Zoning Commission and the Historic Preservation Commission.
The municipal court is resetting all its dockets scheduled through April 1 to a later date.
The city has also suspended utility disconnections.
Bastrop County has not had any cases and has issued a local state of disaster. It is prohibiting gatherings of more than 50 people, and says that violating that order is a class C misdemeanor that comes with a fine of up to $1,000 or up to 180 days in jail.
All school districts in Bastrop County are closing for two weeks following spring break, and schools are working on plans to provide meals and instructional content.
Currently, in Austin and Travis County, gatherings must have fewer than 250 people.