abandoned square cover

The Square, known for its restaurants and nightlife activity, sits empty amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Wednesday, April 8, 2020, in San Marcos.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed the first U.S. case of COVID-19 Jan. 20. Alert in San Marcos was on high, but panic had not yet settled.

Precautions across the globe spread as rapidly as the virus, and on Feb. 13, the CDC confirmed Texas’ first case of COVID-19.

But when Hays County confirmed its first presumptive case of the virus on March 14, the San Marcos once recognized as a place full of life, joy and Texas State students ‘hitting the Square’ began to change drastically. The county declared a state of disaster the next day.

March 19, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued an executive order prohibiting Texans from gathering in groups larger than 10 and eating out at restaurants and bars. The order placed local businesses in limbo, and since, they have survived off pick-up orders and tips from customers.

Hays County Judge Ruben Becerra’s March 25 stay-at-home order prohibiting county residents from all non-essential travel took the last ounce of life that San Marcos residents hoped would never disappear, leaving the downtown Square abandoned and lifeless.

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