Flu vs. COVID-19

Because some of the symptoms of flu and COVID-19 are similar, it may be hard to tell the difference between them based on symptoms alone. Testing may be needed to help confirm a diagnosis.

For more information visit Flu in Austin (Influenza).

COVID-19 Symptoms

Mild symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough, headache, runny nose, loss of sense of smell/taste, sore throat, and/or diarrhea.

If you have mild symptoms you should seek testing. View our Testing page for more information.

Call 9-1-1 or go to the emergency room if you have severe symptoms, including difficulty breathing, chest pain, confusion, fever that doesn't respond to medication.

A printable version of  Seeking Care During COVID-19 flyer is available in English (PDF), Spanish (PDF), Chinese Simplified (PDF), Chinese Traditional (PDF), Vietnamese (PDF), Arabic (PDF), Urdu (PDF), Burmese (PDF), Korean (PDF)

Testing

High-Risk Individuals

Anyone can get COVID-19, but the risk increases with age. You are also at higher risk of severe illness if you have underlying medical conditions including asthma, lung disease, heart disease, kidney disease, liver disease, diabetes, severe obesity, and/or a weakened immune system

A printable version of a Chronic Disease and COVID-19 flyer is available in English (PDF)Spanish (PDF)Simplified Chinese (PDF)Traditional Chinese (PDF)Vietnamese (PDF),  Burmese (PDF)Korean (PDF), Arabic (PDF) and Urdu (PDF)


If You Test Positive

Help prevent the spread of disease by staying home except to get medical care; call ahead before visiting your doctor; and monitor your symptoms. Patients with confirmed COVID-19 should remain under home isolation precautions until the risk of secondary transmission to others is thought to be low.

  • Separate yourself from other people and animals in your home 
  • Avoid sharing personal items 
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes 
  • Clean your hands often 
  • Clean all high-touch surfaces every day

A printable flyer on Steps to Prevent Spread is available in English, Spanish (PDF), Vietnamese (PDF), Chinese Simplified (PDF), Chinese Traditional (PDF), Korean (PDF), Urdu (PDF), Burmese(PDF), and Arabic (PDF)

When to Quarantine

Review this flowchart to determine how long to quarantine after being exposed to COVID-19. If you have been exposed, the recommended quarantine period is 14 days. If you have tested positive, you must isolate for at least 10 days since symptom onset with a resolution of fever and other symptoms.


Need a Place to safely distance due to COVID-19?

Austin & Travis County have established a Hotel Facility, which provides free lodging and services for those that do not have the ability to safely distance due to COVID-19. Learn more about free lodging at a hotel for those who need to safely distance, including who is eligible and who to contact, here.


Accessing Essentials While Isolating at Home

While you are under isolation, you may need to access essential items such as groceries and medications. APH has compiled a list of resources to assist.

Food, Medicine, Mental, Emotional Support

While you are under isolation, you may need to access essential items such as groceries and medications. APH has compiled a list of resources to assist.

Food/Personal Items

  • HEB Curbside
    • Fee: Free for First-time users. Service is free or $4.95
  • Walmart Pick-Up
  • Favor
    • Fee: $7.95 for delivery with $4.95 personal shopper fee
  • Instacart
    • Fee: Free delivery on your first order, $3.99 if order is over $35.00, $7.99 if order is under $35.00 (They also charge 3% fee to the price of each product, 5% service fee and 5% for tip for the driver)

If you do not drive or have a friend, family or neighbor who can pick up items and deliver them to your home or if you need help buying food, please call 512-972-6240.

Medication

  • HEB
  • Walmart
    • Fee: Free Standard Delivery (5-7 business days), $8 2nd Day Delivery, $15 Overnight Delivery
  • CVS
    • Delivery Fee: Many locations are waiving fees due to COVID-19
  • Walgreens
    • Delivery Fee: Free if order is over $35

If your pharmacy does not have a delivery option, check if they have a drive-thru location. You may call the pharmacy and find out if they can transfer your refill to another location for a one-time pick-up.

Emotional Support

Your emotional needs are important and if you are worried or upset, there is help. You may be feeling anxiety and worry, sleeping troubles, over or under eating, or sadness and depressed mood. If you have any of these symptoms, please reach out to:

  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
  • Integral Care 24-Hour Crisis Hotline: 512-472-HELP (4357)
  • National Alliance for Mental Illness Helpline: 1-800-950-NAMI (6264) or text NAMI to 741741 Monday-Friday 10:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. ET

Mental Health

Texas Health and Human Services have launched a 24/7 statewide mental health support line to help Texans experiencing anxiety, stress or emotional challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This new resource offers COVID-19-related mental health support for all Texans. People can call the Statewide COVID-19 Mental Health Support Line 24 hours a day, 7 days a week toll-free at 833-986-1919.

Returning to Work 

APH echoes recommendations from the CDC on guidance for individuals who have had COVID-19 on returning to work. Current health guidelines require individuals stay home under the following circumstances:

Return-to-Work Criteria

APH echoes recommendations from the CDC on guidance for individuals who have had COVID-19 on returning to work. Current health guidelines require individuals stay home:

At least 10 days following the onset of COVID-19 symptoms; AND At least one day following the resolution of fever; WITH Improvement of other symptoms.

View a Return to Work Guidance flyer (PDF) in EnglishSpanish, BurmeseSimplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Vietnamese, Urdu, and Korean

Employees should refrain from reporting to work if they meet any of the following criteria and self-quarantine. You may submit the following letters to your employer that contain additional details and information

Convalescent Plasma Donation

Plasma Study

Ascension Seton, Baylor Scott & White Health and St. David’s HealthCare are currently participating in a national study, to determine if plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients may benefit individuals currently hospitalized with severe or life-threatening cases of the virus. To date, there is no proven therapy for individuals who are diagnosed with COVID-19.

After someone is infected with a virus like COVID-19 and recovers, their blood contains antibodies that their immune system produced to help them fight off the virus. By infusing this plasma into patients who are facing severe cases of COVID-19, their immune system might be able to fight the virus more effectively.

Recent examples of this approach have occurred during outbreaks of coronaviruses like SARS-1 and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), but additional clinical data—and more plasma donations—are needed to determine efficacy in treating COVID-19.

The success of the study hinges on the continued collection of plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients. People who tested positive for COVID-19 and have since tested negative can help by donating plasma through We Are Blood. The plasma is then matched to a patient fighting the virus and administered through an infusion.

One donation can potentially benefit up to five patients.

To qualify as a convalescent plasma donor, patients must have had a prior lab-confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19, have been symptom-free for 28 days or symptom-free for at least 14 days with documentation of a negative follow-up diagnostic test and meet standard donor eligibility criteria. To find out more about the donation process and eligibility, visit WeAreBlood.org/convalescent-plasma.

This study is being led by the Mayo Clinic and supported by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. More information about the study is available at USCOVIDPlasma.org.