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Above, The Texas State men's basketball team won its first Sun Belt regular season championship with a 58-49 victory over Louisiana-Monroe on Feb. 26. The Bobcats' regular season title marks their first men's basketball championship since 1999. Daily Record photo by Gerald Castillo

A LOOK BACK AT 2021: TXST men's basketball Sun Belt championship, COVID-19 vaccination rollout and Winter Storm Uri

Year in Review: January, February & March
Monday, December 27, 2021

Editor’s note: This story is the first installment of a four-part series looking back at the year that was — 2021. 

During the first three months of 2021, Hays County residents began receiving COVID-19 vaccinations. Then Texas was hit with a historic snow event. 

Here’s a look at what happened at the start of 2021. 


Hays County residents began receiving COVID-19 vaccinations at the beginning of the year. In early January, Brookdale San Marcos North, a senior-living facility, recently had residents, associates and essential caregivers receive their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Pharmacists from CVS administered the vaccine.

But the coronavirus continued to put a strain on Hays County with hospitalization rates exceeding 15% in Texas Trauma Service Area O, which the county is a part of. The high hospitalization rate forced business restrictions, including capacity limitations, bar closures and a halt to elective surgeries. In an effort to limit the spread of the virus, the City of San Marcos’ public facilities will remain closed through the end of January as cases and hospitalizations rose throughout the city and Hays County. The city eventually extended the closures through February. 

On Jan. 10, San Marcos saw one inch of snow fall, according to the National Weather Service.

To help with its COVID-19 vaccine rollout, Hays County was designated as a COVID-19 vaccine hub by the Texas Department of State Health Services in mid January.

On Jan. 19, Hays County Judge Ruben Becerra formed the Council for the Indigenous and Tejano Community (CITC) in response to a community desire to address a multitude of undertold and untold Indigenous and Tejano stories.

Hays County began administering COVID-19 vaccines during clinics at San Marcos High School and Live Oak Health Partners Community Clinic on Jan. 26-27. 

San Marcos Consolidated ISD created a vaccine clinic to administer COVID-19 shots to its teachers and staff following an announcement from the Texas Department of State Health Services expanding eligibility to school and child care staff. Above, SMCISD nurse Eliza Herrera administers a Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to Lori Moreno. Daily Record photo by Lance Winter


COVID-19 hospitalizations began to decrease, allowing business-related restrictions to be eased. Businesses in Trauma Service Area O, which ecompasses Hays, Bastrop, Blanco, Burnet, Caldwell, Fayette, Lee, Llano, Travis and Williamson counties. were allowed to increase capacity from 50% to 75%, bars could reopen and elective surgeries could be scheduled.

In an effort to allow greater access to COVID-19 vaccines, Hays County created a pre-registration list in early February. 

Between Feb. 14-15, San Marcos saw historic snowfall. San Marcos, along with most of the state, saw and will continue to see rolling blackouts following historic snowfall. The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) announced that it entered emergency conditions and initiated rotating outages on Feb. 15. ERCOT said extreme weather conditions caused many generating units — across fuel types — to trip offline and become unavailable. In response to the historic weather event, Hays County Judge Ruben Becerra and San Marcos Mayor Jane Hughson each signed disaster declarations. Additionally, Texas State University, San Marcos Consolidated ISD, San Marcos Academy and schools across the county cancelled classes throughout the week of Feb. 15-19. Toward the end of the week, the snow melted and power was slowly restored across San Marcos.

San Marcos saw historic snowfall during the week of Feb. 14-18. Snow covers North LBJ Drive near Vintage Pads apartments. Daily Record photo by Colton Ashabranner

Amid the peak of the winter storm, city dispatchers received 1,595 calls in a single 24-hour period, and nearly tripled 2020’s average weekly call volume between Feb. 14-20, according to the City of San Marcos.

San Marcos saw an increased call volume due to several weather-related issues at partner facilities, including a busted pipe and equipment failures at the Hays County Emergency Communications Center, the city said. Following the disruptions at partner facilities, the San Marcos 911 Center absorbed all calls that would’ve been routed through the Hays County Emergency Communications Center, which included calls from Buda, Wimberley, Dripping Springs and Driftwood. San Marcos 911 Center also aided Texas State University’s Police Department after a generator failure caused telecommunicators from that agency to process calls by hand and coordinate on personal cellphones, the city said.

Additionally, SMPD estimated that it responded to 1,892 calls for service. San Marcos Fire estimates it responded to 587 calls for service, while Hays County EMS estimates it responded to 405 calls for service.

On Feb. 26., the Texas State men's basketball team won its first Sun Belt regular season championship with a 58-49 victory over Louisiana-Monroe.


On March 2, Gov. Greg Abbott issued an executive order lifting Texas’ mask mandate and allowing businesses and facilities across the state to open to 100% capacity.

On March 3, Amazon announced it would develop a new 1 million square foot delivery station at 1346 Fortuna Road. Amazon uses delivery stations as its “last mile” of the fulfillment process, the company said. Packages are transported from Amazon fulfillment centers to delivery stations and then loaded into vehicles for delivery to customers. According to the Greater San Marcos Partnership, the new Amazon SAT-6 facility will provide last-mile delivery for large items, such as furniture, televisions and outdoor equipment.

On March 4, SMCISD began administering COVID-19 vaccines to its employees.after the Texas Department of State Health Services expanded vaccine eligibility to include school and child care workers. 

In mid March, the San Marcos City Council directed staff to move forward with the creation of a utility assistance program, with a maximum of $1,500 per account, to help those economically affected by the pandemic and Winter Storm Uri. 

On March 29, all Texas adults will become eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. The DSHS made the move citing an increase in vaccine supplies. 

On March 30, the Hays County Commissioners Court voted unanimously in favor of pursuing funding for a three pronged criminal justice reform approach; a Pretrial Services Department, a Public Defender Office and a Managed Assigned Counsel program.

San Marcos Record

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P.O. Box 1109, San Marcos, TX 78666