Tuesday, November 1, 2022

APH COVID-19 testing clinic at Metz Elementary to close

 

Widespread testing availability this year leads to steady decline in demand


With COVID-19 testing and vaccines now widely available in the region, Austin Public Health (APH) will close its remaining testing site effective Thursday, Oct. 27, 2022.  

In March 2020, APH quickly redirected staff and laboratory resources to prioritize testing once laboratory testing supplies became readily available to the public. This emergency response was necessary to fill a testing void created by the rapid transmission of the virus and limited testing capabilities and supplies within the community. After two years of service, APH has:

  • Mobilized 12 COVID-19 testing sites.
  • Collected 200,836 COVID-19 PCR tests.
  • Distributed 52,473 COVID-19 rapid antigen test kits among 79 organizations and 5,104 households.

In February of this year, APH consolidated multiple testing sites to the Metz Elementary campus to meet evolving needs. In the event of a surge, APH can stand up a testing site with a contracted vendor to support demand within the community. 

"Since the pandemic began, APH staff stepped up and worked tirelessly in extreme weather to place community needs above their own, and to ensure everyone had a place to go for COVID-19 testing," said APH director Adrienne Sturrup. "Now, there are retailers, clinics and pharmacies in the area that can provide this testing service, or reliable rapid home test kits. I am extremely proud of our staff for the remarkable service they provided to our communities at a time of great need. COVID-19 is still a significant threat to our communities and anyone with symptoms should be tested for the virus so they can avoid spreading it to others."

The APH Neighborhood Services Unit will continue distributing free COVID-19 rapid antigen test kits at Neighborhood Centers while supplies last.

The APH Information Line (512-972-5560) offers callers information regarding testing options, including directing them to a primary care provider for an in-person or virtual visit, going to an urgent care clinic, taking an at-home test, or providing a list of area retailers that offer COVID-19 testing and at-home kits. 

Testing Options 

Testing is available at private and non-profit sites throughout Austin, including pharmacies, hospitals and urgent care centers. Those who have private insurance can contact their doctor’s office or insurer for assessment and testing options. Additional resources: 

COVID-19 Surveillance 

Epidemiologists conduct various disease surveillance activities to monitor COVID-19 within Austin and Travis County including tracking the mandatory reporting of positive and suspected lab-confirmed results, monitoring COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths, wastewater and syndromic disease surveillance. While not a requirement of the Department of State Health Services or Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, you may report positive COVID-19 at-home test results to APH online.   

Vaccine  

APH continues to operate free COVID-19 and flu pop-up vaccine clinics in Austin-Travis County. If you are interested in scheduling a pop-up clinic at your facility or event, please complete this Mobile Vaccination Program request form

Visit Vaccines.gov (Vacunas.gov in Spanish) to find flu and COVID-19 vaccine providers near you. 

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