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)


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)

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 the 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?

  • Lodging
  • Meals
  • Hygiene products
  • Masks and gloves
  • In-room telephone
  • WiFi
  • Television
  • Limited social services
  • Basic medical care

Resources available on site:

These services are provided 24/7:

  • Medical team
  • Security
  • Staff on every floor
  • Runners

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.

A printable version of the ISOFAC information is available in English (PDF), Spanish (PDF), Chinese Simplified (PDF), Chinese Traditional (PDF), Vietnamese (PDF), Arabic (PDF), Urdu (PDF), Burmese (PDF), Korean (PDF)

Accessing Essentials

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.


  • 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.

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

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.