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More 'Open' signs popping up in Comal County

Restaurants and retailers celebrated their first weekend of in-person sales. Some county offices allowed foot traffic Monday. Local rivers outfitters opened back up.

COMAL COUNTY, Texas — More "Open" signs are popping up in Hill Country communities as stores approved to welcome back customers celebrated their first weekend of in-person sales in several weeks. 

As is the case across Texas, occupancy limits were maintained and many used curbside and appointment-based approaches to better follow social distancing guidelines.

On Monday, some Comal County offices opened up to foot traffic after being closed for more than six weeks. The historic courthouse, annex buildings in Sattler and Bulverde, and rural recycling also resumed operations. As county leaders continue urging residents to practice social distancing is required, public areas have been disinfected, and employees were provided with masks and sanitizer.  

Other county offices are not yet open to foot traffic, so patrons are encouraged to call ahead. Comal County’s main line is (830)221-1100.

“We appreciate everyone’s patience thus far as we’ve taken these unprecedented steps of closing offices to protect our public health,” said Comal County Judge Sherman Krause. “We ask for a little bit more as we balance reopening with the health and safety of not just the public but also our employees.”

Restaurants and retailers were able to welcome some customers inside on Friday, but bars are still shuttered. Water recreation, meanwhile, can be found if you look in the right place.

Inside the New Braunfels city limits, river outfitters and the river access parks are still closed. But out in the county there are some options.

A spokesperson for Comal County says leaders are waiting on clarification from the governor’s office for guidance, though there's been no indication of when that may happen. 

“Outfitters and other tourism-related businesses clearly have interpreted the governor’s order as allowing them to reopen. Regardless of what he ultimately decides on this specific question, the governor’s orders are clear about the need to maintain social distancing and maintain clean and healthy spaces, regardless of what kind of business it is," Paul Anthony said. "And we echo his encouragement that everyone do everything in their power to prevent the spread of COVID-19."

Shanty Tubes in Canyon Lake is open, and the outfitter's Facebook page says it's offering curbside tube rentals. 

The post says renters fill out forms online and there’s no shuttle, so the horseshoe section of the Guadalupe River is the only float they offered.

On Monday afternoon, a handful of small groups were spotted enjoying the water. The public entrance and exits at the horseshoe are not blocked off.

If the governor’s office issues further direction, we will update this story with the latest information.  

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