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Coronavirus COVID-19 Local News Schools

Without Masks, COVID-19 Will ‘Sweep Like Fire’ Through Schools, Overman Warns

Pictured from left are members of the Johnson Ranch Elementary fifth-grade spelling team, Lyla Heggie, Claire Bolton and Landin Hanke with Coach Melanie Wilkes. Johnson Ranch Elementary won top honors at Comal ISD's first elementary academic UIL meet earlier this year, where students from Johnson Ranch, Rahe and Specht elementaries competed in seven categories including spelling, chess, writing, math and story telling. Comal ISD said in June it will not require students to mask up for the 2021-22 school year.

Former Comal County Health Authority and family practicioner Dr. Dorothy Overman warned Satuday that COVID-19 will sweep like fire through area schools if students don’t wear masks.

On her popular New Braunfels COVID19 Community Info Facebook page, she said the majority of students will not become very ill but will spread the highly contagious Delta variant to those at home.

“We have learned so much this past year, but the way to keep kids in school and schools open is with masks on everyone,” Overman said.

On July 20, Gov. Greg Abbott said he will not issue any mask mandates.

“Kids will not be forced by government or by schools to wear a mask in school,” he said.

Comal ISD

Comal ISD has not confirmed whether it will require masks for students returning to classrooms later this month, .

But in an email to parents on June 4, Comal ISD Supt. Andrew Kim said the district would follow guidance from the Texas Education Agency (TEA).

“This means that starting with our summer activities and into next fall, our schools will look like they did before March 2020,” he said. “Health screeners will no longer be part of your morning routine and plexiglass will no longer be part of the decor. We will have full classrooms for learning, full stadiums for fans, and full performing arts centers for music ensembles, theater and other performances. Students will be able to participate in extracurricular activities without wearing masks, standing three feet from a teammate, or other limitations.”

New Braunfels ISD

New Braunfels ISD outlined its Back to School Plan at a trustees’ meeting Wednesday.

Face coverings for students and staff are optional, and NBISD will continue to notify parents and community of COVID-positive cases.

“This past spring, our lawmakers did not pass a bill that funds remote learning for the upcoming school year during the legislative session,” NBISD said. “In addition, a survey of parents that ended the year with their child in remote learning revealed only three percent of our students would choose remote learning if offered. Therefore, NBISD has decided only to provide in-person learning for the 2021-22 school year.”


Dr. Dorothy Overman served as Comal County’s health authority for over 25 years and became the area’s most trusted source for information about COVID-19. She stepped down last November due to workload in her family practice, Hill Country Medical Associates, now Christus Trinity Clinic.

As a consultant to the county, she worked with the Office of Public Health and Texas Department of State Health Services on diseases affecting the community, disease prevention, public education, sheltering of evacuees and disaster preparedness.

After the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Overman’s posts on the New Braunfels COVID19 Community Info Facebook page, a private group with almost 7,000 followers, were eagerly anticipated for her candid analysis about the outbreak’s impact on Comal County and Comal ISD.

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  1. Georgia Jones August 11, 2021

    Will you recommend this kind of response, Dr. Overman, when the flu runs rampant through schools, as it often does? Because the flu is MUCH more dangerous for children, and yet….we live with it. Of course, it seemed to disappear in 2020 so maybe it will never return. Just covid from here on out, right? There are approximately 74 million people under age 18 in the USA – about 349 have died with/from COVID. Assuming they had NO serious comorbidities, that is 0.00047% of children who have died in our country. And yet, you want to harm the mental/emotional health of children so they don’t get sick with a virus that has nearly no chance of killing them? But the much deadlier flu is …meh? Wake up people. You’re being lied to. Doctors such as Dorothy Overman are complicit in the psychological abuse that is happening to children all around the world. Anyone who has studied human development knows how detrimental masking is to the healthy intellectual and emotional development of children. Your doctors KNOW. They KNOW the masks don’t work, vaccines are leaky, and that lockdowns decimate us economically. Nobody in power telling you to be afraid of covid is afraid of covid (see Obama’s birthday party of 500+ maskless people). Rules for thee, but not for me. All of you people who are running around hysterically over a virus that has 0.59% case fatality rate need to get a grip. And find a different doctor.

  2. Martha Stipp August 2, 2021

    Governor Abbott is playing politics with the lives of Texans. I am so disgusted with politicians who continue to put political ambitions above doing everything possible to protect us from the spread of COVID. How difficult is it to wear a mask in public while the delta variant is spreading? By the way, COVID delta is extremely contagious. At first, COVID had an R-naught factor of less than 2. Now it is up to R-naught 5+. Will the next wide-spread variant have an even higher rate of infection? Will the next variant begin to specifically target our children? Will the next variant learn to completely override the vaccines? All are possible. Delta is already showing signs of infecting more children who are displaying serious symptoms.

    Wake up, Governors (not just Abbott)! Put politics aside. Looking at this disease from a purely political point of view, doing away with all precautions makes no sense at all. You are making those whom you wish to placate with your actions sick. Some of them will die. Your denying the seriousness of the current situation is actually costing you votes. More of those you are trying to reach won’t be here on Election Day.

  3. NB-xPat August 2, 2021

    Masks are far less uncomfortable than a ventilator. Children under 12 cannot yet be vaccinated, and this delta strain is much worse than the original virus. Nobody is asking you to cut off your right arm, or stay locked down in your house 24/7, or anything else remotely difficult. Masks in schools until enough people are vaccinated ought to be a no-brainer, but our virulently stupid brand of politics means that some children will get an avoidable disease. Abbott won’t lead, and hamstrings local officials who would act. That is criminal.

  4. Amanda August 2, 2021

    Our governor doesn’t give a damn about the children of Texas and we need to show him the door. Anyone who supports this governor and is opposed to wearing a mask is a selfish person who would rather kill people than be slightly inconvenienced, and y’all need to go too. I’ve had it with you idiots endangering the rest of us with your willful ignorance. (This comment has been edited for profanity.)

  5. M.Maxim August 2, 2021

    The TEA is a political organization. It has no right to take a position on COVID related policies! As per our Governor, any mask mandates are breaking the State law of Texas.


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