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City's golf courses remain open despite being identified as nonessential by County

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Posted at 11:05 PM, Apr 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-14 01:25:51-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — While basketball courts, football fields and beaches remain mostly empty as crowds heed social distancing orders, Corpus Christi golf courses remain packed with golfers.

Last week, Nueces County Judge Barbara Canales announced closures of golf courses after obtaining clarification from Governor Greg Abbott regarding his stay-at-home order's stance on whether golf courses are considered essential. Several other counties had already shut down golf courses earlier in the week after receiving documentation from the Texas Municipal League.

Canales announced the closures of the golf courses in the county on Thursday as part of her stay-at-home order though she did not amend her order. Canales said the order already stated that nonessential businesses should close and she received clarification that golf courses should be regarded as nonessential.

The City of Corpus Christi's golf courses were packed over the Easter weekend and Monday. During the City's daily COVID-19 press conference, cty manager, Peter Zanoni explained that the order did not impact all services provided at the golf courses and that the City can only follow written orders and says the closure of golf courses was a verbal order.

"There was some additional clarification put out over the weekend that seems to support the decision of the mayor and the city attorney which is as long as there are ancillary operations on the facility like restaurants that can be open for take out," said Zanoni, "The golf courses also provided an outdoor place to excercise. so for those reasons the mayor at this point still hasn't made an order to close the two city courses."

The County's order on private golf courses runs through April 30. Whether it will be extended beyond that date remains to be determined.