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.