There are no confirmed cases of coronavirus in New Braunfels or Comal County, but the impact of the global pandemic is starting to hit home.
Officials from Cedar Fair Entertainment Company on Friday announced they would temporarily close Schlitterbahn Waterparks in New Braunfels and Galveston until the end of the month.
Richard Zimmerman, CEO of the Ohio-based company that owns amusement and water parks in the U.S. and Canada, said the decision to temporarily close is the right choice for guests, associates and community.
“We continue to implement preventive measures as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as our own health and hygiene protocols,” Zimmerman said. “Additionally, we are maintaining close relationships with local, state, national and international public health authorities and are taking their guidance as additional preventive measures are deemed necessary.”
Schlitterbahn Resort hotels will remain open, however. The company said they will work with guests who have prepaid tickets or booked rooms during the time period of the park closures. Refunds or re-bookings may be requested by contacting the company at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Texas Department of State Health Services was reporting 39 cases of COVID-19 as of Friday.
Officials report nine cases in Harris County, seven in Dallas County, six in Collins and Fort Bend counties, three in Montgomery and Smith counties, two in Travis County and one case each in Bell, Gregg and Tarrant counties.
Austin Public Health on Friday reported two presumptive positive cases of COVID-19 in Travis County, the first cases confirmed in that area.
Both cases are not believed to be community spread, meaning the illness did not come from an unknown infected person with whom they had come into contact.
“This is concerning but not surprising and we have been prepared for the arrival of COVID-19 in our area,” said Dr. Mark Escott, Austin-Travis County Interim Medical Authority, in a statement. “It is critical that the community continue to heed our recommendations and take personal hygiene seriously. This will be the key to ensuring that this virus doesn’t spread.”
The virus was first detected in Wuhan, China. The first infections were linked to a live animal market, but according to CDC, the virus is now spreading from person-to-person.
COVID-19 seems to be spreading easily and sustainably in the community — what public health officials term community spread — in some affected geographic areas, according to the CDC.
Community spread means people have been infected with the virus in an area, including some who are not sure how or where they became infected.