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Hays County river parks reopening

By: Helena Van Maren

SAN MARCOS, Texas—River parks and other outdoor recreational structures have been reopened to the public, after nearly six months of them being shut down. On September 16, the San Marcos Parks and Recreation Department issued a list of the parks, playgrounds and other outdoor facilities that were being reopened.

City Manager Bert Lumbreras issued a statement saying the city wants to welcome the public back to enjoy facilities and services, but in a safe way.

“We ask that the community remains diligent in following CDC guidelines, local and state mandated regulations and works together to continue to stop the spread of COVID.”

The Hays County website also added tips for safety regulations and a list of rules for river parks across the San Marcos/Hays County area. These parks, along with several other public services and businesses, are part of the fourth phase of Governor Greg Abbott’s plan to reopen Texas, safely and with caution.

So, how have these river parks reopening affected coronavirus cases? According to the Hays County COVID-19 Dashboard, for the first week of September, there were 110 new cases reported that week. The week following the reopening of the river parks, about 135 new cases had been reported. While that is a slight increase, it isn’t that much of a jump like the ones seen in Hays County in June, with over 100 new cases every day.

With the reopening of the economy, public services, campus living and businesses, river parks were bound to reopen before the end of the year. And with the reopening, came a little bit of life and energy back into San Marcos and its Hays County neighbors.

Kelsey Williams, a 19-year-old Texas State student, said she’s so glad that she can tan at Rio Vista again before it gets too cold.

“I’m so happy the rivers are back open. They were closed for so long that I didn’t even know what to do with myself without them. But at least we still have a few more months of the sun.”

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