AUSTIN, Texas - Austin Public Health and CommUnityCare Direct are asking individuals with insurance to seek alternative testing in order to free up space for those who are uninsured.
CommUnityCare Health Centers offer free COVID-19 testing to those without insurance. When testing capacity is reached for the day, the site must close. Tests are for established CommUnityCare patients, the uninsured, and those who do not have an established health provider. While the tests are available without an appointment, it is on a first-come, first-serve basis.
“Testing in Travis County is not keeping up with demand,” said Jaeson Fournier, CommUnityCare CEO. “Our drive-up testing sites open at 6:30 a.m. However, on Monday, we were at capacity before we opened. We want to continue testing those with nowhere else to go, but we simply can’t test everyone.”
APH says Travis County has multiple testing resources for COVID-19 open to the public and individuals should contact their doctor and insurance company to determine the location to take the test.
Those in Austin-Travis County can get a COVID-19 test at pharmacies, urgent care centers, and other private testing locations. APH says individuals with insurance should not be charged for the standard "PCR COVID-19" test per the Families First Coronavirus Response Act and the CARES Act.
“We understand that it may be difficult, with Austin Public Health and CommUnityCare sites at capacity every day, to get tested quickly. We are encouraging Austinites with health insurance to go through their doctors and utilize the tests provided at pharmacies and clinics around Austin to ensure that we have the capacity for everyone to be tested quickly so we can slow the spread of COVID-19.”
APH also recommends anyone who has been tested to self-isolate and that anyone showing symptoms of COVID-19 should self-isolate as soon as possible.
"Based on APH’s testing limits, testing for those who have COVID-19 symptoms, who are at a higher risk of suffering from more severe symptoms or death, who are part of critical infrastructure or congregate settings, and vulnerable populations must be prioritized," APH wrote.
Individuals looking to take the COVID-19 test need to take the APH self-assessment. Those without access to the internet can call the APH nurse hotline for an assessment at 512-972-5560.
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