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State Parks and Historic Sites of Texas are Now Closed Due to COVID-19

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As of April 8, 2020, all parks and historic sites within the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) are closed to the public due to COVID-19. The order came from Governor Abbott on the previous day that all parks would close, effective at the end of the day. Before Tuesday’s announcement, 15 of 89 sites in the system had already shut their gates due to coronavirus-related precautionary measures and personnel shortages. Also, group-use facilities were already closed and available campsites were reduced. Easter weekend is often a popular time for gatherings in parks, as well as travel, therefore the timing of this announcement allows for safer plans to be made.

State Parks and Historic Sites of Texas are Now Closed Due to COVID-19

Photo: envato elements

Park workers have experienced difficulty maintaining sanitized conditions and upkeep of adequate supplies, as well as problems guaranteeing public compliance with social distancing. According to Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Executive Director Carter Smith, leaders of rural communities recently contacted state officials asking for park closures to quell spread of the virus, which is cause for concern and strain on areas with limited medical infrastructure. Per officials, the state park system hosted nearly 740,000 visitors in March 2020, with 35,000 of those being visitors from out of state. Currently, Texas has had more than 8,260 cases of COVID-19 and at least 154 deaths.

State Parks and Historic Sites of Texas are Now Closed Due to COVID-19

Photo: envato elements

Existing reservations are canceled and normal administrative charges will not be applied. Additionally, the Texas State Parks Austin Headquarters, Law Enforcement Offices, and the License and Boat Registration counter are temporarily closed to public access. Use the online resources as alternatives to doing business in person with TPWD. Reopening of the state parks and historic sites will be at the directive of Gov. Greg Abbott. In the meantime, enjoy nature through your windows or find videos online of parks and historic sites across Texas and the United States.