Judge Issues Stay Home/Work Safe Order for Comal County
Comal County Judge Sherman Krause on Friday issued a Stay Home/Stay Safe order requiring that all residents stay at home unless they are engaging in essential activities, effective Saturday morning.
The order also requires the closure of all nonessential businesses, including river outfitters and short-term campgrounds. It comes after the county announced Wednesday that it would begin enforcing Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s statewide executive order mandating stay-at-home restrictions.
“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. “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.”
Comal County’s order is “based on evidence of an increasing risk to the health and safety of residents within the county” and will be in effect through April 30 unless extended beforehand.
It applies to all residents of Comal County, including those within incorporated city limits, except where the order conflicts with previously existing orders issued by the municipality, in which case city orders take precedence.
“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 further prohibits “all public and private gatherings of any number of people occurring outside a residence.”
“This order makes clear that nonessential businesses must close immediately, including businesses that provide lake- or river-related services,” Krause said. “Businesses that function as housing for long-term campers or provide fishing access are considered essential by the state and are therefore exempt from Comal County’s order, as well.”
The governor’s order, issued Tuesday, requires all people in Texas to “minimize social gatherings” and maintain social distancing measures “except where necessary to provide or obtain essential services.”
The county announced Wednesday that it would be enforcing the governor’s order, as well as more strictly enforcing already existing rules limiting county-owned Canyon Lake boat ramps only for the launching and recovery of boats.
“We have reluctantly undertaken this next step because the health and safety of Comal County residents comes first, and we want to be as clear as possible,” Krause said. “Limiting our social interaction is the best way to slow or stop the spread of the coronavirus.”
Businesses forced to close because of the COVID-19 pandemic might be eligible for low- or no-interest loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration, which has opened its portal for businesses to apply for those loans.
Businesses in Comal County can visit www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options to determine the category of funding for which they might be eligible and to apply for coronavirus-related relief.