COVID 19 Response

As part of the City’s Covid-19 response, this website has been repurposed to share critical information directly with people experiencing homelessness. Content about the overall strategy for ending homelessness will be reposted at a later date

We are experiencing a completely new health crisis in our community. Protecting ourselves and our community from Covid-19 is everyone’s responsibility. Austin Public Health is closely monitoring the rapidly evolving situation in coordination with the Texas Department of State Health Services, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and local and regional public health and healthcare agencies.

Visit the City's site on COVID 19 for more information on resources and the City's response.

Please continue to check back to this site. It is updated frequently with new information and resources.

Accessing Resources               Safety Net Resources                       For Providers

Click for resources during COVID-19            Rental Assistance and Support            Partner Resources   


What you need to know

What is happening with businesses closing in the city?

On Tuesday 3/24 Mayor Adler issued the Work Smart - Stay Home orders, limiting work and travel to only what is considered essential. Those who are experiencing homelessness are exempted from the orders, but are encouraged to practice social distancing (6 feet from others) and seek shelter if possible. Essential businesses that may stay open include grocery stores, take-out food providers, nonprofits and social service agencies, and laundromats. 

View available basic needs services here.

What is Covid-19?

Covid-19 is the formal name of the coronavirus that is spreading across the world. 

What are the symptoms?

Patients with COVID-19 have had mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

How does it Spread?

The most common way Covid-19 spread is through person to person contact, being within 6 feet of an infected person and inhaling the respiratory droplets produced when they cough or sneeze. Covid-19 can also spread through surfaces touched by those infected and through carriers who don’t show the symptoms of the virus, though these are less common. 

Who is at increased Risk?

Similar to the flu, those who are over the age of 70 and/or have underlying health conditions such as heart disease, hypertension, chronic lung disease, and diabetes are at greater risk for severe disease and complications from COVID-19.

What do you do if you believe you have Covid-19?

Call the COVID-19 Hotline at 512-978-8775 for guidance if you are experiencing symptoms and have had close contact with others who have or may have the virus. By calling this number instead of going directly to a clinic, urgent care or emergency department, you can help minimize the spread of the virus. Stay away from others and follow the guidance from the hotline staff. 

Looking for more information?

Find more general information for you and your community and/or what to do if you are ill

Protecting Yourself and Others

To help prevent the spread of all respiratory viruses, including COVID-19, make sure to:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are unavailable, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay away from others when you are sick.
  • Cough or sneeze into your elbow or use a tissue to cover it, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

Leaders are using the term “social distancing” to keep people from being in close contact when possible. This means:

  • Staying where you shelter whenever possible
  • Limiting interactions with people who are at risk
  • Keeping yourself six feet away from others in public spaces

Remember that there are other respiratory illnesses that can make you feel sick, but aren’t related to the Coronavirus. Most people who have a cold can get better on their own by doing some of the following things to help with symptoms:

  • Take over the counter pain and fever medications (CAUTION: do not give Aspirin to children) 
  • Take a hot shower to help with a sore throat and cough 
  • Drink a lot of liquids 
  • Stay away from others and rest


What is happening with clean-ups around the city?

Clean ups are happening less frequently and crews are not asking people to relocate unless they are in immediate danger. 

How do I find food?

Call 2-1-1 for the latest information about where are when you can access free food during the Covid-19 response. 

Accessing Resources                Safety Net Resources                      For Providers

Click for resources during COVID-19            Rental Assistance and Support            Partner Resources


Go to the City of Austin COVID-19 Information page.