For weeks now, the word from the City of El Paso was that because of the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic, parks, museums, the Zoo, and public swimming pools would not be reopening after closing down due to COVID-19. There was some good news about reopenings of some of those facilities from the City on Friday afternoon.

City officials say they have been working with the Office of Emergency Management and the Department of Public Health, and the Local Health Authority and will begin to reopen select parks, two museums, some library services, and portions of the El Paso Zoo & Botanical Gardens over the next few weeks.

El Paso Mayor Dee Margo says a partial reopening would encourage exercise and being outdoors and that could help citizens maintain good mental health during what is a very stressful time. City Council will release a lot more details during their regular meeting on Tuesday, June 8.

The City’s Local Emergency Directive has been amended to reopen these services:

PARKS AND RECREATIONS:
Beginning Monday, June 8, all City Parks will be opened. Skate parks and outdoor basketball and tennis courts will be reopened but playgrounds and fitness equipment inside of parks will remain closed until further notice. You'll have to practice social distancing protocols and wear a face covering. You still can't gather in groups of more than 10. If you plan on organized functions like games or sports practices, you'll need to get a City permit.

SPRAY PARKS:
Wednesday, July 1, City spray parks will be opened during these limited hours of operations:·
Tuesdays through Sundays - 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Staff will conduct extended cleaning breaks on open days to make sure proper hygiene is maintained. There will also be enhanced cleaning on days the spray parks are closed.

RECREATION CENTERS:
Wednesday, July 1, these regional recreation centers will be reopened Monday through Thursdays from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. They will also be open on Friday and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.:
Don Haskins (7400 High Ridge Dr.)
Veterans (5301 Salem Dr.)
Pat O’Rourke (901 N Virginia St.)
Gary del Palacio (3001 Parkwood St.)
Pavo Real (9301 Alameda Ave.)
Marty Robbins (11620 Vista Del Sol Dr.)
Officer David Ortiz (563 N Carolina Dr.)
You will be required to wear face coverings except when participating in sports and aerobic activity. There will be classes offered but with capacity.

PUBLIC POOLS:
Unfortunately, City pools and senior centers will remain closed to the public. There is a City team working on a plan of action to reopen during future phases.

EL PASO PUBLIC LIBRARIES:
Monday, June 29, you can take advantage of curbside check-out services on a limited basis at these three libraries only:
Dorris Van Doren (551 Redd Rd.)
10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Wednesdays and Fridays
Esperanza Acosta Moreno (12480 Pebble Hills Blvd.)
10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Tuesday and Thursdays
Richard Burges (9600 Dyer St.)
10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Mondays and Thursdays
You can check out materials online and then picked up by appointment. You will have to wear a face covering. For more information, visit elpasolibrary.org.

MUSEUMS:
Thursday, July 2, the El Paso Museum of Art and the El Paso Museum of History will reopen during the following limited hours of operations:
9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursdays
9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday
There will be limited capacity, social distancing, and you will be required to wear a face covering. You can take advantage of classes, camps, lectures and artist demonstrations online until further notice. The Digital Wall at the Museum of History will remain closed until further notice. You can check it out online by clicking on digie.org.