Starting Monday, San Antonio residents can begin visiting community centers, reserve park pavilions, and visit public libraries in person.

The onset of the coronavirus pandemic last spring threw a wrench into the City’s operations, forcing it to close many of its facilities to the public. As the San Antonio region’s coronavirus positivity rate remains in the single digits and the risk level is categorized as “low”, the City plans to reopen more in-person services and facilities next week.

City Manager Erik Walsh told City Council on Thursday that City staff reviewed this next phase of reopening while keeping the safety of employees and community members in mind. He noted that social distancing and face coverings will be required.

“We certainly want to continue to require that to ensure that everyone is safe and healthy,” he said.

More information on the reopening of City facilities can be found here.

San Antonio Public Library branches will reopen to the public on Tuesday, April 13, for “brisk browsing.” The Central Library, Forest Hills, McCreless, Memorial, and San Pedro Branch locations will remain closed for renovations. People can still access Wi-Fi outside the libraries from 7:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. every day. All libraries are closed Sundays and Mondays for now.

The City’s Municipal Court will have some in-person appearances Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., though judges and staff will meet with people virtually. Contested in-person and nonjury trials and hearings will not begin until Phase 4, according to the City’s news release. And in-person court appearances with judges and staff are slated to start June 1.

Six of the City’s 10 senior centers – West End Park, District 2, South Side Lions, District 5, Normoyle, and Northeast – will reopen starting Monday, with 25% capacity for indoor and outdoor activities. The Department of Human Services will also reopen the following:

  • The Emergency Utility Assistance program at the Willie Velasquez Family Assistance Center. Walk-ins are accepted on a limited basis Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., though people can schedule appointments ahead of time.
  • The Frank Garrett Multi-Service Center, which hosts the Department of Human Services, Parks and Recreation, Metro Health, and AVANCE San Antonio/Early Head Start programs. People must have appointments or be registered to programs at the center in order to enter. The DHS NXT Level Youth Opportunity Center will take some walk-in appointments every day from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. to help with emergency youth needs.
  • The Child Care Services administrative offices, which will open at 50% capacity and accept walk-in appointments from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day.
  • The Claude Black Multi Service Center, which hosts the Department of Human Services, Council District 2 Field Offices, and Family Service Association. The center will open for appointment-based services from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program plans to continue curbside services here as well.
  • In-person college advising services at Café College, scheduled to reopen Tuesday, April 13, at limited capacity for walk-in and appointment-based services. The facility is open from Tuesday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Parks and Recreation Department plans to open six of its outdoor swimming pools in May. But starting Monday, the department will begin opening more of its facilities and restarting some services starting Monday, including:

  • Park pavilions reservations (with indoor gymnasium reservations slated to start later in the spring);
  • Permits for outdoor special events as long as physical distancing, face masks, and capacity limit requirements are in place;
  • Reopening the Joe Ward Community Center, San Juan Brady Community Center, and Normoyle Multigenerational Center for after-school and recreational programming (with more community centers opening in the summer);
  • Reopening Parks and Recreation-operated adult and senior centers, with reduced capacity and physical distancing required, along with pre-registration for in-person activities.

In addition, the main shelter of Animal Care Services at 4710 State Highway 151 will be open Monday through Friday from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. and weekends from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. with appointments only.

Walsh praised San Antonians for practicing public health guidelines to prevent spreading the coronavirus.

“I want to thank our community for continuing to diligently follow social distancing recommendations and wear face coverings, which has helped slow the spread of COVID-19. As we continue to see more people vaccinated, we can begin to provide services to our residents in person in a way that protects both City staff and our patrons,” Walsh said in a prepared statement.

Jackie Wang

Jackie Wang is the local government reporter at the San Antonio Report.