Symptoms, Testing and Care
The Austin Public (APH) Testing Enrollment Form allows people to complete an online assessment for COVID-19 testing without having to see their physician.
Completion of the online assessment will not guarantee referral to a testing site. Testing will continue to be by appointment-only. The enrollment, referral and testing through APH are FREE. Austin Public Health will continue to prioritize health care workers, first responders, and people at higher risk for developing severe symptoms.
Drive-through tests will be by appointment-only and scheduled through the Austin Public Testing Enrollment Form.
A printable (PDF) version of this flyer is available in:
- How the Online Form Works
- Individuals must create an account at AustinTexas.gov/COVID19.
- The form asks several questions to determine the patient’s eligibility for a test. A person can fill out the form for someone who cannot do it themselves. This information is HIPAA-protected.
- If an individual is approved for a test, it will allow them to schedule the location, date and time for their drive-through testing appointment. Patients will only be seen in a vehicle.
- The patient will receive a confirmation via phone, email or text with a QR code and instructions for the testing site within the same day. They will need to present an ID or the confirmation at testing.
- If the patient does not meet testing criteria, they will be able to complete the form at any time to try again (e.g. if their symptoms change the following days).
- Results will be available online in 3-4 days.
In addition to scheduling tests and monitoring confirmed positive cases, APH will send an automatic exposure questionnaire to residents who test positive, which will help gather details on how the virus might have spread, such as travel and visits to high-traffic areas. APH staff will also follow-up with positive cases.
The application will also send follow-up emails or text messages to check in on each resident’s well-being, so medical care can be escalated if necessary.
Need to take a COVID-19 test?
¿Necesita hacerse una prueba de COVID-19?
- How the Drive-Through Testing Works
- When a patient arrives at the drive-through testing location, they must remain in their vehicle.
- Patients must show the technician the confirmation QR code and any form of ID through their car window.
- The technician at the testing site will then advise the patient on the next steps of the test.
- The process from start to finish will take approximately 10 minutes.
- Test results will be sent to the individual by phone, email, or they will be able to access their results online. Patients can expect results in 3-4 days.
- If a patient tests positive for COVID-19, they will receive an automated email message with instructions on how to mitigate additional community spread of the virus, as well as guidance on how to monitor symptoms to determine if additional medical supervision is necessary.
- Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How do I start my online assessment?
A: You will need to create your account, click ‘Take Self-Assessment’. Please follow the instructions to complete your form. In addition, everyone who completes this form must have their own email address to create an account (including children) per HIPAA guidelines. Future phases of the form will allow you to create family accounts.
Q: What if I’m approved for a test?
A: If an individual is approved for a test, the enrollment form will allow them to schedule the location, date and time for their drive-through testing appointment. The individual will receive a confirmation email with a QR code. This QR code will be used to check-in at the testing site.
Q: What if I’m not approved for a test?
A: If you do not meet testing criteria, you will be able to revisit the portal at any time to try again (e.g. if your symptoms have changed in the following days).
Q: How will I be notified about my results?
A: Once you have completed your drive-through test you should have your results in 3-4 days. If you have tested positive, you will receive an automated email message with instructions on how to mitigate additional community spread of the virus, as well as guidance on how to monitor symptoms to determine if additional medical supervision is necessary.
Q: What if I don’t have access to a computer?
A: A person can fill out the form for someone who cannot do it themselves. Those who do not have access to a computer or Internet to complete the form can call our nursing hotline at 512-972-5560 for assistance.
Q: What if I do not have access to transportation?
A: Those who do not have access to transportation to the site can call our nursing hotline at 512-972-5560 for alternative methods of getting tested. Please be advised that individuals must be in a vehicle when they arrive at a drive-through testing site. Individuals will rescheduled if they arrive on site by walking, riding a bike, scooter or motorcycle.
Q: What if I do not have an ID?
A: Individuals who do not have an ID to present at the testing site may present the QR code and confirmation email at the testing site.
Q: What if I am waiting for test results and/or have tested positive and cannot isolate at home?
A: If you have symptoms of COVID-19 and do not have a place to safely isolate while you await test results OR if you have tested positive and do not have a place to safely isolate, you may utilize an Isolation Facility (ISOFAC) established by the City of Austin.
Please call the intake line at 512-810-7554, and arrangements for you will be made. You may be required to provide proof of your testing status, if you did not enroll with Austin Public Health for testing.
- Convalescent Plasma Donation
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.
- Symptoms and When to Seek Care
Click the image to view or download a PDF version of the Seeking Care During COVID-19 chart.
Use the Austin Public Testing Enrollment Form, call your primary care physician or use telehealth services if you have mild symptoms, such as:
- Runny nose
- Loss of sense of smell/taste
- Sore throat
Call 9-1-1 or go to the emergency department if you have severe symptoms, such as:
- Difficulty breathing
- Chest pain
- Fever that doesn't respond to medication
A printable version of the seeking care information is available in English (PDF), Spanish (PDF), Chinese Simplified (PDF), Chinese Traditional (PDF), Vietnamese (PDF), Arabic (PDF), Urdu (PDF), Burmese (PDF), Korean (PDF)
- People at Higher Risk for Severe Infection
Similar to influenza, those who are over the age of 65 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.
Austin Public Health has developed guidance for older adults and people who have underlying medical conditions. A printable version of this information is available in English (PDF), Spanish (PDF), Simplified Chinese (PDF), Traditional Chinese (PDF), Vietnamese (PDF), Burmese (PDF), Korean (PDF), and Urdu (PDF).
Healthcare providers are encouraging all patients experiencing flu-like symptoms to first use mobile apps or visit websites that have been set up for COVID-19 response. For your safety and convenience telehealth resources are available.
Before scheduling an appointment with your healthcare provider or walking into a clinic, urgent care center or hospital it is recommended that you check with your physician’s office directly as they may be offering telehealth appointments with your provider or use a similar service listed below.
- Available Telehealth Services
Visit their website or to install the app on your mobile device, simply text BETTER to 88408 to have it sent to your phone. No appointment is needed.
Visit their website to download the app. The cost is $59/visit.
Visit their website to sign-up for a free account.
Visit their website to set-up an account or download their app. The cost of a Teladoc visit depends on your health plan, with everyday care costing less than $49.
Visit their website to download the app. A visit on HeyDoc costs the patient between $10 and $50.
Visit their website to schedule a consult with a Critical Care M.D or Behavioral Health professional. Consult takes place from the safety and convenience of your home on a computer or mobile device.
A local clinic that will see new and established patients via telehealth.
Visit their website to register for an account. Sliding income scale for cost ranging $0-$70.
Visit Victory Med and click the “Book an Appointment” button or call 512-462-3627 to schedule an appointment. The cost varies from $10-$50 based on insurance or cash pay patients can schedule an appointment for $100. Medicare is also accepted for no cost.
In support of the current crisis. MDBox is offering everyone a discounted telehealth consult with a healthcare provide
Install the app on your mobile device. No appointment is needed and no insurance is required. Every day FetchMD Telehealth visits are $59. Telehealth Visits may cost less through your health plan.
Services for the Uninsured
Partner of the Austin Public Health, CommUnityCare offers FREE COVID-19 health services for people with are uninsured.
- CommUnityCare Hotline
People experiencing COVID-19 symptoms who are uninsured and do not have an established doctor can call the CommUnityCare COVID-19 Hotline at 512-978-8775 for guidance. Medical professionals will answer the phones and triage callers – specifically people who are uninsured – to prevent them from going directly to a clinic, urgent care, or emergency department. For now, the hotline is available 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
- CommUnityCare Testing
CommUnityCare has FREE testing in eastern Travis County.
Steps to Prevent Spread
Austin Public Health has developed guidance to help prevent spread from those who are sick to others.
- Guidance to Help Prevent the Spread
Austin Public Health has developed guidance to help prevent spread from those who are sick to others (PDF).
Stay home except to get medical care Call ahead before visiting your doctor 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
Please talk with your employer about your time off work. Some employers may allow you to work from home. If needed, you may use the Control Orders as a doctor’s note.
- Austin - Travis County Isolation Facility
Austin & Travis County have established an Isolation Facility, which provides free lodging and services for those that do not have the ability to safely self-isolate due to COVID-19.
Who is eligible to use the isolation facility (ISOFAC)?
Any individual that does not have a place to safely self-isolate, and meets one of the following criteria:
- Persons that need to self-monitor due to COVID-19 exposure (coming within 6ft of a COVID-19 patient for longer than 1 minute, without proper PPE)
- Persons that have symptoms consistent with COVID-19, but have not been tested
- Persons that have symptoms of COVID-19 and are awaiting test results
- Persons that have tested positive for
COVID-19 Examples of unsafe self-isolation situations:
- Does not have living space in current home to sufficiently self-isolate and maintain physical distance from others in their home (ie, sharing bedrooms, dorms, etc.)
- Living with high risk individuals (elderly or young) and cannot sufficiently self-isolate and maintain physical distance
- Group home or congregate living
- Persons experiencing homelessness whether sheltered or unsheltered
What services are provided at the ISOFAC?
- Hygiene products
- Masks and gloves
- In-room telephone
- Limited social services available
- Basic medical care
Resources available on site:
- These services are provided 24/7:
- Medical team
- Staff on every floor
- Meals and snacks
- Behavioral Health Professionals on site Monday through Friday, and available via TeleHealth on weekends
To make arrangements to use the ISOFAC, call their intake line at 512-810-7554.
Follow link for Isolation Facility information in a shareable flyer.
- Return-to-Work Criteria
If you were sick and feeling better, follow the return-to-work criteria from Centers for Disease Control before returning to work for healthcare workers. If you are recovering at home and have self isolated, follow CDC guidance for how to stop self-isolation.
People with COVID-19 who have stayed home (are home isolated) can stop home isolation under the following conditions:
If they will not have a test to determine if they are still contagious, they can leave home after these three things have happened:
- They have had no fever for at least 72 hours (that is three full days of no fever without the use medicine that reduces fevers)
- other symptoms have improved (for example, when their cough or shortness of breath have improved),
- at least 7 days have passed since their symptoms first appeared.
While you are under isolation, you may need to access essential items such as groceries and medications. Austin Public Health 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
- Fee: $7.95 for delivery with $4.95 personal shopper fee
- 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.
- HEB Curbside
- Delivery Fee: Free if order is over $35
- Delivery Fee: Many locations are waiving fees due to COVID-19
- Fee: Free Standard Delivery (5-7 business days), $8 2nd Day Delivery, $15 Overnight Delivery
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:
- 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
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
If you have additional concerns or questions and would like a follow-up from a Case Manager, please notify your Public Health Monitor.
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.