Austin parks and pools close indefinitely as COVID-19 cases climb

Shame if you are planning a picnic in the park or a dip in Deep Eddy on July 4th. Both the city of Austin and Travis County are closing all parks in anticipation of the holiday crowds. The city also announced that it would close Barton Springs and Deep Eddy indefinitely on the recommendation of Austin Public Health.

With coronavirus cases on the rise, the mayor has indicated that another shutdown may be planned. The city is currently in phase 4 of its risk-based COVID-19 guidelines, which are based on hospital capacity. If the city tops 70 new hospital admissions (Austin has 48 at press time) it could trigger Phase 5 and a shutdown similar to late March and April.

City of Austin

All Austin parks will be closed Friday, July 3 through Sunday, July 5. These include popular parks like Zilker, Auditorium Shores, and Pease. All pre-paid parking permits are refundable. You can find an alphabetical list of closures here.

The closings also affect all recreational facilities, including tennis courts, golf courses, basketball courts, boat ramps and leisure centers. Museums and cultural centers such as the George Washington Carver Museum, the Elisabet Ney Museum, and the Mexican American Cultural Center are closed.

Botanical gardens and nature reserves such as the Austin Nature & Science Center and the Zilker Botanical Garden are also closed. They were operating with limited capacity under the governor’s reopening plan.

The Butler Hike and Bike Trail remains open. Use of multidirectional trails was restored on June 1, but signs recommend a social distance of six feet.

Barton Springs, Deep Eddy, and Pools in the neighborhood

Both Barton Springs and Deep Eddy will be closed from Tuesday June 30th until further notice. All current reservations will be canceled and Austin Public Health will rate each facility.

According to the city, chlorinated pool facilities will continue to operate according to the specified schedules.

Travis County

After closing popular parks like Hippie Hollow, Bob Wentz Park and Hamilton Pool Preserve in mid-June, the county is now closing all parks for the weekend holiday.

From Thursday, July 2 at 8 p.m. through Tuesday, July 7 at 8 a.m., all 25 county-run parks, including boat ramps, will be closed. Although slated to reopen next week, the county says this may change depending on Austin’s COVID-19 numbers.

According to the city of Austin, Austin-Travis County has reported 8,969 cases of COVID-19 and 121 deaths.

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