Austin shuts down Barton Springs and Deep Eddy pools indefinitely; parks, pool and rec centers closed for Fourth of July weekend

Barton Springs Pool was empty during March's stay-at-home order. (Christopher Neely/Community Impact Newspaper)
Barton Springs Pool was empty during March's stay-at-home order. (Christopher Neely/Community Impact Newspaper)

Barton Springs Pool was empty during March's stay-at-home order. (Christopher Neely/Community Impact Newspaper)

To help curb the rapid spread of the coronavirus, Austin's parks department has decided to shut down Barton Springs and Deep Eddy pools indefinitely, as well as closing all city parks, pools and recreational facilities during the Fourth of July weekend.

The closure of Barton Springs and Deep Eddy is effective June 30. All other parks and recreations facilities will be shuttered from July 3-5. The move comes as Austin and Travis County continue to set daily records for new coronavirus infections and hospitalizations. As of June 29, Travis County has seen 8,461 confirmed coronavirus cases since the virus began spreading locally in March. New confirmed coronavirus infections have nearly quadrupled since June 1 in Travis County, increasing by 372%; new hospitalizations due to the virus have jumped 400% in the five-county Austin-Round Rock metro during the same time, according to data provided by Austin Public Health.

Austin-Travis County interim health authority Dr. Mark Escott told City Council June 29 that the city was in a "very dangerous" spot heading into the holiday weekend. Several council members urged the city to consider park and pool closures to help mitigate transmission of the virus. Earlier in the day, interim Travis County Judge Sam Biscoe made the call to shut down all Travis County parks and recreation facilities through the Fourth of July weekend.

Austin Mayor Steve Adler said the city is at a tipping point in its battle against the coronavirus.

“This really is crunch time for the city,” Adler said. “This is where individual actions will add up to community actions over whether we’re going to keep businesses open and open schools in the fall. Where we sit now, it’s going to take everyone [without criminal enforcement] ... to do what is necessary to support and protect the community.”


Only Barton Springs and Deep Eddy pools will remain shuttered following the holiday weekend. The city parks department released a statement that chlorinated pools will continue to operate according to their own schedules. For a full listing of park closures, visit austintexas.gov/parkclosures.
By Christopher Neely
Christopher Neely is Community Impact's Austin City Hall reporter. A New Jersey native, Christopher moved to Austin in 2016 following years of community reporting along the Jersey Shore. His bylines have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Baltimore Sun, USA Today and several other local outlets along the east coast.


MOST RECENT

Gov. Greg Abbott on July 27 issued an executive order extending the early voting period for the Nov. 3 election. (Screenshot of Sept. 17 press conference)
Lawsuit takes aim at start date for early voting as some Texas Republicans challenge Gov. Greg Abbott's order

A group of prominent Texas Republicans has embarked on a legal effort to undo the governor's executive order that extended the early voting period for the Nov. 3 election.

A photo of Elong Musk
After filing Travis County site plans, Tesla CEO Elon Musk speaks to new gigafactory’s place in the company

Tesla has filed the intial site plans for a massive manufacturing plant in southeastern Travis County.

Straying from traditionals like cheese and pepperoni, Tony C's serves specialty pies such as eggplant, prosciutto and goat cheese, and the Truffle Shuffle. (Courtesy Tony C's Pizza & Beer Garden)
Restaurant Tony C's to open Sept. 24 in Round Rock and more Central Texas news

Read the latest business and community news from Central Texas.

(Graphic illustration by Rachal Russel/Community Impact Newspaper)
From New Braunfels to Cedar Park, Central Texas outdoor recreation shops scrambling to keep inventory

When combined with temporary state restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many local shop owners are speculating a perfect storm of low supply and high demand is the main reason for changes in an industry that has of late been turned on its head.

Austin ISD teachers have been able to teach virtually from their classrooms to start the school year. Some students will return to the classroom Oct. 5. (Courtesy Austin ISD)
Austin ISD teachers adjust to virtual learning as in-person demands approach

Austin ISD teachers and principals discuss the first few weeks of virtual learning.

Early voting runs from Oct. 13-30. Election Day is Nov. 3. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Find a polling location where you can vote early in Travis County

Voters can cast their ballots at any of the 37 early voting locations from Oct. 13-30.

Mercury Hall will close in 2021. (Courtesy Mercury Hall)
Mercury Hall property cleared for 5-story apartment development

Mercury Hall will close after 2021, and a dense multifamily development is set to arrive in its wake.

Buddy's Burger is open in Northeast Austin off of Cameron Road. (Courtesy Buddy's Burger)
Now open in Austin: Party Barn is back, drive-in movies downtown, burgers in North Austin and more

Blue Starlite began showing drive-in movies downtown in September. Buddy's Burger is open off Cameron Road and planning to expand to more locations, and new bar High Noon is open on the east side.

City Post is located at 113 E. Eighth St., Georgetown. (Courtesy City Post)
Georgetown to get steakhouse, speakeasy plus more Central Texas news

Read the latest Central Texas business and community news.

Easy Tiger announced Sept. 18 it had closed its downtown Austin location on Sixth Street. (Courtesy Easy Tiger)
Easy Tiger announces permanent closure of original Sixth Street location

The local bakery and restaurant remains open at the Linc and still plans to open in South Austin.

A photo of a "sold" sign
Central Austin August housing market numbers show high dollar-volume sales

While housing inventory remains low, home prices continue to rise.

Pflugerville's testing location is operated from 8 a.m.-noon Monday through Saturday where a maximum of 300 people can be tested each day at the site. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Coronavirus testing site in Pflugerville to move and more Central Texas news

Read the latest Central Texas business and community news.