Photo: Stacey Lovett, For MySA.com
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With Memorial Day weekend, the unofficial start for tubing season, fast approaching, some river revelers are wondering how Gov. Greg Abbott’s reopening plan applies to the Texas tradition.
Online promotions for tubing outfitters, like The Lone Star Float House on the Guadalupe River and Float In near the Comal River, say the businesses will open Friday under Phase 1 of Abbott’s order allowing businesses to reopen under a 25 percent occupancy rule after coronavirus pandemic shutdowns.
Neither of the businesses were immediately available to comment on which of the minimum standard health protocols detailed in Abbott’s order they were planning to follow or to answer questions on sanitization of rentals.
The report released by the state on Monday does not explicitly address river recreation. Outdoor non-contact sports are allowed, but cannot exceed groups of four.
The city of New Braunfels and Comal County said they are aware of the questions surrounding tubing season and are working to provide clarification soon. City spokesman David Ferguson said New Braunfels, in which both rivers run through, is reviewing Abbott’s order and will make an announcement on tubing and other issues as soon as the information is available. The river parks remain closed at this time, he said.
Ferguson added that city officials are working “diligently” to come up with a plan to address handling tubing season during a pandemic.
Comal County spokesman Paul Anthony echoed Ferguson, saying the county is also working on getting some clarity soon and have been in contact with Abbott’s office.
As of Wednesday, Comal County has reported 54 total confirmed COVID-19 cases, with 21 in New Braunfels. Along with 36 recoveries and six deaths, the county has 12 active cases.
During tubing season, the county receives visitors from all other the state, including nearby San Antonio.
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