Governor's stay-at-home order to be enforced by Comal County

(Hannah Zedaker/Community Impact Newspaper)
(Hannah Zedaker/Community Impact Newspaper)

(Hannah Zedaker/Community Impact Newspaper)

Despite a growing number of confirmed coronavirus cases amid limited testing, Comal County has been reluctant to issue its own stay-at-home order. But under instruction from Gov. Greg Abbott's executive order issued on March 31, the county will start enforcing social distancing measures and restrictions of nonessential businesses, starting April 2.

“The governor’s order goes into effect on Thursday, and our Sheriff’s Office COVID-19 task force will begin educating businesses in the unincorporated areas of the county who are out of alignment with that order before moving to enforcement if necessary,” said County Judge Sherman Krause in a press release. “The only way we as a county can stop the spread of the coronavirus is to work together and take responsibility for staying home and maintaining the social distancing measures ordered by the governor.”

The county's Public Information Officer, Paul Anthony, said there have been "a handful of complaints" about people ignoring the county's official guidance that was issued on March 27, including people congregating on the shores of Canyon Lake over the weekend.

“Sheriff’s deputies will be monitoring the boat ramps beginning this weekend to make sure they are only being used only to launch and recover boats, not as gathering places or as entry points to the lake shore,” Krause said in the press release.

Comal County Sheriff Mark Reynolds said the plan is to educate the public and then enforce the order through citations when necessary. In order to hold offenders accountable for repeat offenses, written warnings may be issued.

New Braunfels order remains largely unchanged and the rest of the county will now be subject to similar restrictions, with one major countywide exemption. Religious services are deemed essential by the state—meaning people may once again attend religious services were available.

Notably, guidance from Abbott and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton states that "houses of worship must, whenever possible, conduct their activities from home or through remote audio or video services."

All businesses and services allowed under New Braunfels' stay-at-home order, such as dining, are still allowed to operate to-go, drivethru, curbside and pickup options. Businesses and services may still use employees to deliver their goods or services for the time being.

A full list of businesses deemed essential by the state of Texs may be found in the document below.

By Warren Brown
Warren joined Community Impact at the beginning of 2020 as the editor of its New Braunfels paper and now reports the news in San Marcos, Buda and Kyle. Warren previously wrote for the Dallas Observer and Fort Worth Weekly and he brings a passion for truth and equality to his reporting.