NEW BRAUNFELS, Texas – The Memorial Day weekend led to packed rivers in Comal County, which as of Friday had 81 confirmed cases of COVID-19.
The number is relatively lower than those in the surrounding Bexar and Hays counties, but as more people head to Comal County to take a dip in the rivers, there is concern the virus could spike in the area.
Comal County epidemiologist, Dr. Anil Mangla, is urging river-goers to wear masks as much as possible.
And even though there is no evidence of the virus spreading through water, if you happen live in the area, Mangla said you should enter the river as close to your home as possible.
"So we’re going to get a lot of tourists coming, as well. So, close to home means less travelers, less stopping. That means less possibility of getting infected,” Mangla said.
If you enter the river through a park, Mangla said you should check ahead and make sure the restrooms and other facilities are functioning for sanitary reasons. Also carry hand sanitizer and avoid group activities, like water volleyball.
“There shouldn’t be gatherings of more than 10 people. So again, in a pool, you’re going to get more than 10. So your risk from low or no risk is going to shoot up to high risk,” Mangla said.
If you’re sick or feel like you’re having seasonal allergies, Mangla said you should stay home.
With more testing, Mangla is expecting more cases. However, he and a team are working on a new set of guidelines tailored to the area that can be put in place to slow the spread.
“So that’s going to be the very key and a challenging part here in Comal County, because we have so much water parks and lakes around us,” Mangla said.
Mangla also mentioned that swimming can lead to cracked dry skin, which creates other ways for the coronavirus to enter the human body, so it’s also important to keep your skin moisturized.
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