The Austin Parks and Recreation Department announced on March 28 it has closed all park amenities in an effort to combat COVID-19. This effectively closes everything but open green spaces inside the City of Austin.
PARD announced the following were closed indefinitely:
- Basketball courts
- Tennis courts
- Skate parks
Playgrounds, exercise equipment, tennis courts, golf courses, recreation and cultural centers, city-owned museums, and pools have been closed since mid-March.
Park green space, trails, and golf course green space remain open with the six-feet social distancing recommendation in place. Restrooms and water fountains are also still open to the public. According to a PARD release, though restrooms are cleaned and sterilized multiple times a day, residents should exercise caution while using.
"This decision was made after deliberation and consultation with the Austin Public Health department and City leadership," notes a release. "While in ordinary times park amenities provide countless benefits, these amenities under current circumstances hinder the ability for individuals to practice physical social distancing."
The City of Austin and Travis County are currently under a stay home/work smart order set to expire on April 13, though Austin Mayor Steve Adler has hinted that it may be extended. Over the weekend, President Trump announced he would extend a federal guidance on social distancing through the end of April, contradicting his previous statements that the country would be back to normal by Easter Sunday, or April 12. Read more about what stay home/work smart means here.
As of March 30, Austin-Travis County had 200 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus, a number that has doubled over the past seven days. Of those cases, slightly more than half have been under the age of 40. On March 27, county officials confirmed that the first Austin-area resident died of the virus.