Comal County Public Health releases Halloween safety guidelines as local case rates remain steady

Residents are encouraged to practice social distancing during Halloween activities. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Residents are encouraged to practice social distancing during Halloween activities. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

Residents are encouraged to practice social distancing during Halloween activities. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

Comal County officials are urging residents to follow health and safety guidelines during trick-or-treating and other holiday activities to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Though the city of New Braunfels and Comal County have not issued formal restrictions on Halloween activities, Dr. Dorothy Overman, Comal County public health authority, encouraged the community to practice social distancing and health guidelines throughout the weekend.

“In order to continue slowing the spread of COVID-19 locally, we encourage parents to review the CDC recommendations and choose lower-risk activities,” Overman said in a press release. “For those that choose to continue with the traditional Trick-or-Treating, it is very important that parents realize that a costume mask is not protective like a cloth mask and we encourage them to choose a protective cloth mask during any upcoming events.”

Guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also include giving out treats outdoors if possible, washing hands before handling treats and bringing hand sanitizer for to use after touching objects and between activities.

The CDC also recommends not wearing a costume mask over a cloth or surgical mask, as it could make breathing more difficult.

Comal ISD and New Braunfels ISD have been reporting symptomatic cases as well as incidents of exposure to a case since the beginning of the school year.

Exposure to a positive case includes being directly exposed to fluids from the mouth or nose or being within six feet for 15 minutes or more without a face covering.

On Oct. 26, NBISD reported eight current cases, 46 symptomatic cases and 124 exposures to a lab-confirmed case, down from 139 on Oct. 20. A total of 54 confirmed cases have been reported in NBISD: 41 students and 13 staff.

CISD has reported 28 current cases, 50 symptomatic cases and 145 exposures to a lab-confirmed case as of Oct. 26. The district has reported a total of 114 confirmed cases among students and staff.

Since March 16, Comal County has reported a total of 3,709 COVID-19 cases. With 3,491 recorded recoveries and 120 deaths, the county has 98 active, confirmed cases.

The county’s seven-day positivity rate as of Oct. 26 was 6.14%, down from 6.7% on Oct. 20.

According to data from the Texas Department of State Health Services, Guadalupe County has reported a total of 34 new confirmed and probable cases between Oct. 18-26, for a total of 3,772 since March 16. A total of 79 Guadalupe County deaths have been reported to the Texas DSHS.

Residents wishing to be tested for COVID-19 can call Comal County’s dedicated hotline, 830-221-1120, from Monday through Friday between 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
By Lauren Canterberry

Reporter, New Braunfels

Lauren joined Community Impact Newspaper as a reporter in October 2019. After graduating with a degree in journalism from the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia, Lauren was a freelance journalist and worked as a college English teacher in China. At CI, Lauren covers education, local government, transportation, business, real estate development and nonprofits in New Braunfels.