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Coronavirus crisis impacts Comal County leaders

Staff with the Public Health Department have tested positive and New Braunfels City Council postponed their meeting due to a possible exposure.

COMAL COUNTY, Texas — The coronavirus crisis is now directly affecting leaders in Comal County.

Staff with the Public Health Department have tested positive and New Braunfels City Council postponed their meeting due to possible exposure.

While the health department is shut down after two staff members tested positive for coronavirus, they are still scheduling testing appointments over the phone.

Comal County Public Health is adapting after having to shut its doors.

Family immunizations and other services have been canceled for the next two weeks, but coronavirus response is still taking place.

Behind closed doors, some staff will schedule tests, continue contact tracing investigations, and answer questions by phone and email.

The county is working on setting up additional resources to streamline appointment scheduling for coronavirus testing.

“We appreciate everyone’s patience, and we encourage anyone needing to set up a COVID-19 testing appointment to keep trying if they have trouble getting through,” said Public Health Director Cheryl Fraser.

Residents can call (830) 221-1120 or (830) 221-1150.

Meanwhile, New Braunfels City Council did not meet Monday after concerns of possible exposure to the virus. A budget workshop scheduled for Tuesday was also postponed.

A popular summer camp run by the city is also on hold after two counselors tested positive for coronavirus.

The city has not announced when Camp Minnehaha could resume.

“We understand that closing the camps places a burden on some families, but we believe this is the best course of action for the safety of everyone,” said City Manager Robert Camareno.

Nursing home residents remain healthy in Comal County but a facility in New Braunfels is reporting three employees have contracted the coronavirus.

In an update posted to their website, EdenHill Communities said the three employees are in self-quarantine and none have shown symptoms so far.

Two were part-time employees and have not been on the New Braunfels campus since they were believed to have been exposed to the virus.

The company says an internal contact tracing investigation was completed to see if any residents were in contact with the employees.

While no residents have reported being sick, the update, along with an increase in Coronavirus cases in the community led to a change in policy.

“We believe that face-to-face visits are vital, and tried to offer safe, socially-distanced visits to family members missing their loved-ones. In light of the dramatic increase in COVID cases in our community, all scheduled family visits (which were held outside of the facility with additional precautions) will halt until further notice. We will continue to offer virtual visits with your loved ones.”

Edenhill said they will continue to screen employees, monitor residents, and provide any updates on their website.

As of Tuesday morning, there are 221 people with active cases of coronavirus in Comal County. 13 people are in the hospital. Health experts urge everyone to take precautions seriously.

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