Bummer news if your 4th of July plans included a picnic in the park or a dip in Deep Eddy. Both the City of Austin and Travis County are closing all parks in anticipation of the holiday crowds. The city also announced it is closing Barton Springs and Deep Eddy indefinitely at the recommendation of Austin Public Health.
With coronavirus cases on the rise, the mayor has hinted that another shutdown may be in the works. The city is currently in Stage 4 of its COVID-19 risk-based guidelines, which were constructed based on hospital capacity. If the city surpasses 70 new hospitalizations (Austin has 48 as of press time), that could trigger Stage 5 and a shutdown similar to late March and April.
City of Austin
Beginning Friday, July 3, through Sunday, July 5, all City of Austin parks will be closed. This includes popular parks such as Zilker, Auditorium Shores, and Pease. All pre-paid park passes will be refunded. Find an alphabetical list of closures here.
The closures also affect all recreational facilities, including tennis courts, golf courses, basketball courts, boat ramps, and recreation centers. Museums and cultural centers such as George Washington Carver Museum, Elisabet Ney Museum, and Mexican American Cultural Center are closed.
Botanical gardens and preserves such as Austin Nature & Science Center and Zilker Botanical Garden are also closed. They had been operating at limited capacity per the governor's reopening plan.
The Butler Hike and Bike Trail remains open. Multi-directional trail use was reestablished on June 1, but signs recommending six feet of social distance remain.
Barton Springs, Deep Eddy, and neighborhood pools
Both Barton Springs and Deep Eddy are closed beginning Tuesday, June 30, until further notice. All current reservations will be canceled and Austin Public Health will evaluate each facility.
Chlorinated pool facilities will continue to operate according to their posted schedules, the city says.
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 holiday weekend.
Beginning Thursday, July 2, at 8 pm through Tuesday, July 7, at 8 am, all 25 county-run parks — including boat ramps — will close. Though the plan is to reopen next week, the county says that may change depending on Austin's COVID-19 numbers.
According to City of Austin numbers, Austin-Travis County has 8,969 reported cases of COVID-19 and 121 deaths.