Directors of the Austin Public Library as well as heads of the parks and recreation, animal services and code departments discussed the phased approach during a virtual press conference earlier today. Plans will be assessed every 28 days and may be subject to change, depending on the course of the pandemic.
Starting Monday, the parks department will reopen certain facilities that have been closed since the start of the pandemic. Three pools will reopen Monday, with six more to follow, but there is not yet a date to reopen Barton Springs or Deep Eddy. Splash pads will also remain closed.
Austin Public Library will also reopen its book drops. Returned items will be quarantined for 72 hours, Director Roosevelt Weeks said. On June 15, APL will begin offering curbside service—where residents can pick up books and other items—at select locations, including the Central Library downtown.
The Austin Animal Center will resume in-person adoptions, within certain guidelines, on Monday. Interested residents will be required to schedule appointments in advance, have their temperature checked upon arrival and wear masks. Two appointments will be allowed per hour.
The code department is reopening its cashiers office. Two weeks later, its licensing and registration office will follow suit. Interim Assistant Director Daniel Word encouraged residents to continue using the electronic options available on the city's website.
As the reopening process continues, city officials asked residents to continue wearing masks and practicing social distancing while returning to these venues in an effort to keep city employees and other essential workers safe. "The safety of our employees and the community that we serve are always on our mind," Deputy City Manager Nuria Rivera-Vandermyde said.
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