Austin shuts down main greenbelts, all programs and amenities through July; parks, trails will remain open

City officials are working to contain a recent surge in the spread of the coronavirus. (John Cox/Community Impact Newspaper)
City officials are working to contain a recent surge in the spread of the coronavirus. (John Cox/Community Impact Newspaper)

City officials are working to contain a recent surge in the spread of the coronavirus. (John Cox/Community Impact Newspaper)

After the Fourth of July weekend, the city of Austin's main greenbelts, park programming and amenities will remain shut down through the rest of July in an effort to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus, which has tightened its grip on Austin in recent weeks. Parks and trails will remain open.

City Manager Spencer Cronk announced the plan in a July 2 memo. The move comes days after the city said it would close all parks and recreational facilities over Fourth of July weekend to mitigate crowding over the holiday weekend. Austin's famous Barton Springs and Deep Eddy pools are also closed indefinitely.

According to Cronk's July 2 memo, parks and recreation amenities, such as basketball, tennis and volleyball courts and playgrounds will be closed through July. Programming and activities, such as summer camps and golf, will also be shut down, as will the Barton Creek and Bull Creek greenbelts.

The closures come as city and health officials work to contain the coronavirus. Travis County has seen a surge in new cases and hospitalizations in recent weeks. On July 1, health officials reported 597 new confirmed cases, bringing the total infections to 10,124 since the virus began spreading in early March

Hospitalizations continue to rise as well, causing wider concern about health care system capacity. On July 1, 57 new coronavirus patients were admitted to the hospital, bringing the seven-day daily average of new hospitalizations to 55.1.


Health officials all week have pleaded for Austinites to stay inside during Fourth of July weekend, a typically busy time for outdoor and person-to-person activity. Dr. Mark Escott, Austin-Travis County interim health authority, said the city was in a "very dangerous" place heading into the weekend.


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