Austin Public Health Expands COVID-19 Testing to Neighborhood Testing Sites

Austin Public Health Expands COVID-19 Testing to Neighborhood Testing Sites
Tue, 07/07/2020 – 13:19

Three new sites designed to make testing more accessible for affected communities in the area.

Austin, Texas — This week, Austin Public Health (APH) rolled out two neighborhood testing sites and will be introducing a third location on July 13. These free testing sites will be in addition to the existing APH drive-thru testing site, and are designed to serve the historically underserved neighborhoods they are located in. The locations have been identified for the accessibility to the community in areas that data has showed to be the most impacted by COVID-19. 

The neighborhood testing locations are:  

  • Southeast Branch Library: 5803 Nuckols Crossing Rd, Austin, TX 78744 
  • Little Walnut Creek Branch Library: 835 W. Rundberg Ln, Austin, TX 78758 
  • Givens Park (opening July 13): 3811 E. 12th St, Austin, TX 78721 

**Media Note: While these testing sites are in public areas, those getting tested are patients. We ask that you do not film the site, but if you do please protect patient privacy by avoiding video/photos of faces, identifiable cars or license plates. Staff on location are wearing full PPE. For the safety of our patients and your media crews, do NOT approach patients who are on City property as they are suspected to be COVID-positive. We want to provide our patients a comfortable environment with privacy as close as possible to that of a clinic and reduce potential liability issues incurred by media outlets.  

“Austin Public Health is pleased to be able to roll out these neighborhood testing sites in areas where we are seeing a critical amount of cases,” said Ana Urueta, City of Austin COVID-19 Testing Group Lead.  

Urueta added, “We want to be able to reach people who need tests where they are. We have been listening to feedback from the community and our partners, and these testing sites take into account the feedback we have heard, from allowing walk-ups, to not requiring individuals to arrive in a closed vehicle. These sites are really targeted toward the surrounding communities, and we encourage those who don’t live in this area and have the ability to pursue other options to do so. We have been and will continue to reach out to the communities surrounding the neighborhood testing sites to ensure that those who most need testing are aware of the service available to them.” 

APH encourages those with insurance or a primary care provider to first reach out to their doctor for an assessment. Other testing options for those with insurance include pharmacies and urgent care centers. 

Unlike the main APH drive-thru testing site, neighborhood testing sites do not require an enclosed vehicle, reducing the barrier of needing a car. Patients may arrive by foot, on a bicycle or motorcycle, or in a vehicle. All individuals are required to wear a face covering when arriving for testing. 

The capacity at the testing sites will be limited for the first couple of weeks as APH works to ramp up staffing. Testing at the neighborhood sites is available by appointment, with additional limited availability for walk-up patients. APH recommends that everyone planning to get a test at the neighborhood testing sites schedule an appointment ahead of time, but as long as there is capacity at the site, no one will be turned away if they show up needing testing.  

Individuals can sign up for a test at a neighborhood site online at AustinTexas.gov/COVID19 or through our nurse hotline at 512-972-5560. Assessments online and over the phone are available in several languages. Individuals unable to access the testing sites can also call the nurse hotline to see if they qualify for an at-home test. 

As with all testing sites, all medical information provided for testing and contact tracing is confidential, and immigration status is not asked. 

For more information about COVID-19, visit AustinTexas.gov/COVID19.  

Editorial Section