COMAL COUNTY, Texas – Update:
Comal County has enacted a ‘Stay Home, Work Safe’ order, according to county officials.
Comal County Judge Sherman Krause issued the order Friday, which requires all residents to stay at home unless they are engaging in essential activities.
The order will go into effect beginning Saturday morning through April 30th, unless extended.
Under the order, all nonessential businesses in the county, which also include river outfitters and short-term campgrounds, will be closed.
“After monitoring compliance with the governor’s executive order this week, we realized Comal County needed a clearer order that applied more specifically to our community,” Krause said in a statement. “The vast majority of local residents and businesses have been complying with efforts to protect public health, and this order is designed to make sure everyone else comes into compliance.”
The order was prompted after county officials say there is an increasing risk to the public’s health and safety, due to COVID-19.
All residents, including those within incorporated city limits, will need to abide by the order, officials say.
“All individuals currently living within Comal County, Texas, are ordered to remain and stay at their place of residence,” the order reads. It also states, “All businesses operating in the county, except essential businesses, … are required to cease all activities at facilities located within the county except minimum basic operations.”
The order also prohibits all public and private gatherings outside of a residence and residents must continue practicing social distancing.
Boat ramps owned by the county on Canyon Lake are to be used for launching and recovery of boats under the order as well, officials say.
Comal County Judge Sherman Krause on Friday issued new “Stay Home, Work Safe" guidelines as health officials confirmed there is community spread of COVID-19 within the county.
Krause called his new measure “guidance” rather than “orders," but said that if residents didn’t comply with the recommendations voluntarily, then more stringent control measures would be put into place.
Krause recommended that water recreation businesses voluntarily shut down. He also urged “close-contact” businesses like hair and nail salons, massage therapists and personal spas to voluntarily close.
The county judge detailed the following voluntary mitigation measures adding that if compliance is not adequate, then the recommendations would become mandatory and could result in criminal penalties.
Comal County Voluntary Mitigation Measures
- Personal Safety Measures:
- All Comal County residents are encouraged to stay at home except for health and safety activities, obtain necessary supplies, go to work, or engage in physical exercise outside. Residents are discouraged from social gatherings of greater than ten individuals and are strongly encouraged to practice social distancing to prevent spreading or contracting COVID-19. People are discouraged from visiting gyms or massage parlors as ordered by Governor Greg Abbott. The practice of personal protective measures and good hygiene with frequent hand washing, not touching one’s face, and disinfecting items and surfaces are crucial at this time. People who are sick should stay home, and not engage in activity outside of their home except for medical treatment. If someone in a household has tested positive for COVID-19 they must follow the isolation and quarantine measures prescribed by local, state, or federal health authorities. Additionally, if a member of a household tests positive, all other members of the household should consider themselves positive and also follow the isolation and quarantine measures prescribed by local, state, or federal health authorities.
- Business Best Practices:
- All restaurants, prepared food retailers, microbreweries/micro distilleries, or wineries may only provide take out, delivery, or drive-through services consistent with the Executive Order issued by Governor Greg Abbott. All businesses operating within Comal County are encouraged to facilitate employees who are able to work remotely from their homes. Additionally, businesses should implement social distancing measures keeping at least six feet between both employees and customers, eliminate gatherings by keeping groups to ten or fewer people including both employees and customers, and postpone non-essential work travel. Businesses are also encouraged to regularly disinfect and clean all surfaces and facilities for the protection of their employees and the customers they serve. Businesses should also expand sick leave policies and ensure flexible leave policies for staff who need to stay home due to school or childcare closings. Businesses should also encourage everyone to stay home if they are sick, including both employees and customers.
- Community and Faith-Based Organizations Best Practices:
- All community and faith-based organizations are encouraged to limit social gathering to ten or fewer people keeping at least six feet between individuals. Sporting or entertainment events should be cancelled or broadcast without audience participation. Faith-based services should be conducted using video, teleconference or other remote measures.
- Critical Infrastructure:
- Hospitals, surgical centers, and healthcare providers should follow the Executive Orders issued by Governor Greg Abbott which include delay of elective medical, surgical, and dental procedures by following the non-essential procedures guidance of the Governor’s Executive Orders.
- At Risk Individuals:
- Nursing homes and retirement/assisted living facilities should follow the Executive Orders issued by Governor Greg Abbott that restrict visitors. Additionally, staff should wear masks and wash their hands thoroughly before entering and after exiting the rooms of their residents. These facilities are also encouraged to regularly disinfect and clean all surfaces for the protection of their staff and residents who are at greater risk of serious consequences of COVID-19.