AUSTIN, Texas - Austin Public Health is beginning testing for COVID-19 at Givens Park in an effort to help make testing more available in neighborhoods most impacted by the coronavirus.
Neighborhood testing sites do not require that someone arrive by car and today's testing will take place outside under a covered pavilion. The neighborhood sites are designed to help reach people near their homes and reduce the need to travel to drive-thru sites.
Walk-up patients will be seen depending on availability. APH recommends everyone schedule an appointment ahead of time but stresses that no one will be turned away if they have the supplies available.
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Patients may arrive on foot, bicycle, or in a car. Everyone is required to wear a mask when arriving for testing.
The Givens Park site will be open Mondays and Fridays from 9 a.m .to 1 p.m. and Wednesdays from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.
There are currently an estimated 1,400 active cases of COVID-19 in Travis County. According to Austin Public Health, 169 people have died and 434 are hospitalized. 151 of those patients are currently in ICU.
Statistics estimate that more than 11,000 people have recovered from COVID-19 in the county.
Officials with Austin Public Health have been working to increase testing in Travis County.
During the first week of operations, 187 people were tested at the Little Walnut Creek Branch Library and 137 people were tested at the Southeast Branch Library.
With today's opening of the Givens Park site, officials are hoping to serve even more people who suspect they may have COVID-19.
In a letter released by Austin Mayor Steve Adler, he says it's up to Texans to have an active role in helping to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
The mayor says in part, "We need to keep our feet on the brake to continue behavior change & we need to continue to watch the numbers. We remain in risk-level stage 4, but we could quickly be in stage 5 if we do not continue to change our behaviors. Please continue to wear masks any time you are in public & observe even greater adherence to the six foot distancing. Stay home when you're able."
If you'd like to take the online COVID-19 assessment, you can go to the city's website or call the nurse hotline at 512-972-5560.
FOX 7 Austin is working to keep you up to date with coronavirus, with both local and national developments. You can also get the latest COVID-19 news from around the country at coronavirusnow.com.