Per Gov. Greg Abbott's orders, Texas has begun easing restrictions put in place to slow the spread of COVID-19. Among the social restrictions being lifted is the ban on entering state parks.

The order, however, does not apply to Hueco Tanks and Franklin Mountains State Park. The popular local parks are among five that are exempted. According to a city press release, the fact that our number of positive cases continues to climb is partly why.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has advised that Franklin Mountain State Park and Hueco Tanks State Park will remain closed until further notice due in part to the local COVID-19 trends. The closure of the local State Parks will also reduce the high risk of individuals getting lost or injured that would require the Fire Department’s Search and Rescue Operations to respond to possible mountain rescues, diverting critically needed first responders from the COVID-19 mission – City of El Paso

All parks inside El Paso city limits and in El Paso County continue to be off limits. City officials warn law enforcement and code enforcement officers will issue citations to those found gathering in parks.