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COVID-19 expected to affect spring break plans

Riverwalk, SA Zoo still seeing visitors who also are taking precautions

SAN ANTONIO – Friday’s weather was made-to-order for visiting some of San Antonio’s biggest attractions, such as the River Walk and the San Antonio Zoo, ahead of spring break, which begins next week for many.

Even so, on the minds of many visitors on Friday was the current outbreak of COVID-19. They also were aware of the needed precautions they need to take, such as frequent handwashing.

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Beatriz Galarza, who was at the San Antonio Zoo, said she’d decided to try to avoid large crowds.

But once inside, she said, “It was super crowded, and I didn’t even think of the virus.”

On the River Walk, many visitors were still strolling along or sitting outdoors, enjoying their lunch, or riding the iconic barges on the San Antonio River.

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“I almost canceled this trip,” said Cheryl Strawdernan -- from Tucson, Arizona -- because she has a family member back home who is ill and susceptible to the coronavirus.

But Strawdernan said she wanted to accompany her son to San Antonio, where he’s attending a law conference.

“You do need to take precautions. You do need to be aware,” she said. “But you can’t live scared and paranoid.”

Her son, Chance, understands why many are choosing to avoid crowds. He said they should use their own discretion.

“If you don’t feel comfortable, don’t go out,” he said. But if they do, “then live life to the fullest, take advantage of the opportunities you have. I think that’s a good way to live.”

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The manager of a restaurant on the River Walk said they’ve been busy ahead of spring break, but the true test of COVID-19′s impact will be over the next two weeks.

Major attractions such as SeaWorld are trying to reassure their visitors.

In a statement, spokesman Chuck Cureau said, “SeaWorld employs an experienced health and safety team and has rigorous protocols in place.”

He said its parks are taking direction from state agencies and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“We will continue to monitor the situation for changes, collaborate with health officials and take all steps necessary to ensure health and safety,” Cureau said.


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