Within 48 hours of New Braunfels' "Stay Home-Work Safe Order" going into effect, Mayor Barron Casteel issued a supplemental order March 27 that loosened restrictions on measures taken to slow the local spread of the coronavirus.

March 27 is also the day Comal County announced the first known case of the virus being spread from person to person within the county. A New Braunfels man in his 40s died the day before while being treated for the virus at a hospital in Austin, and a Canyon Lake man has since died.

The following businesses are now exempt from the stay-at-home order:

  • gun sales and repairs

  • bail bonds services

  • title companies, land surveyors and appraisers

  • car washes

  • RV sales and repairs

  • mattress stores

  • home appliance stores and repair shops

In addition to these changes, the supplemental order also states that employees may only continue to work on-site if they cannot complete their work activities remotely, whether or not the business is deemed essential.

Nonessential businesses must remain closed to the public. Products and services may be provided by curbside pickup or direct delivery from the retailer or service provider, as opposed to only through a third party service such as UPS or FedEx.

Real estate services are allowed to offer limited services. If a property is under contract, related activities such as surveys, inspections and appraisals may still be performed. In-person viewing of contracted property is permitted if the current resident leaves the property for the duration of the showing.

People who violate the order and its supplement could be fined up to $2,000.

Casteel's order is in part due to orders from Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who issued a legal ruling that gun sales could not be prohibited despite the growing pandemic.

Comal County Judge Sherman Krause issued guidance for businesses and residents to follow March 27. Enforcement of the guidelines is voluntary, but Krause's statement does threaten a countywide order similar to the city of New Braunfels' if people do not follow the guidance.