Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Overnight Cold Weather Shelters Activation Extended to Wednesday, Feb.1


Overnight Cold Weather Shelters will continue to be activated on Wednesday, February 1.

Anyone in need of warm shelter can go to One Texas Center located at 505 Barton Springs Road for registration between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 31 and Wednesday, Feb. 1. 

You can get to One Texas Center by any of the following CapMetro bus lines: 1, 7, 10, 20, 30, 105, 142, and 801. 

Anyone can call 512-305-4233 for more information on activation status.  

City of Austin Suspending all Regular Non-essential Operations Effective 2:00 PM today, January 31, 2023 through Wednesday, February 1, 2023

The National Weather Service has advised that the current Winter Weather Warning is being extended into Thursday morning.  With the increasing probability of both freezing rain and sustained freezing or below-freezing temperatures through this evening and into Wednesday, the City of Austin will suspend all regular non-essential operations effective 2:00 PM today, January 31, 2023 through Wednesday, February 1, 2023. During this time, all essential public safety services will continue and essential employees will continue responding to the winter weather event.
The City has also elevated to Level 2: Limited Emergency Operations Center (EOC) activation and will  continue to closely monitor weather conditions and provide updates as appropriate.

For updates on emergency information and City operations visit www.austintexas.gov/alerts or call 3-1-1.
Austin Resource Recovery Trash, Recycling, Composting and Facilities Schedules
Due to winter weather conditions, some Tuesday and all Wednesday trash, recycling, composting, bulk and brush collections will be suspended until later in the week. Carts should be left at the curb so staff can collect material once road conditions improve. The Recycle and Reuse Drop-off Center and public brush drop-off at the Hornsby Bend Biosolids Management Plant will be closed on Wednesday, February 1. Customers can get updates about changes to their services by downloading the Austin Recycles app or by signing up for reminders at austintexas.gov/myschedule.

Austin Municipal Court and Downtown Austin Community Court services are closing at 2:00 PM today, Jan. 31 except for the Violet KeepSafe Storage (VKS) program.  The VKS program will remain operational throughout this time period as an essential service for individuals experiencing homelessness.

Parks and Recreation
For information about park closures, visit: http://AustinTexas.gov/ParkClosures
Austin Public Library
All Austin Public Library locations will be closed, except for a few locations used as warming centers.   Terrazas and Little Walnut Creek Library branches will be available as warming centers today (1/31) until 5:00 PM and Wednesday (2/1) from 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM.  The Special Events Center at the Central Library is available as a warming center today only (1/31) until 6:00pm.
The City of Austin will continue to monitor conditions and will provide updates as they become available.

For information about Cold Weather Shelters, Warming Centers, and other impacted City operations visit: https://www.austintexas.gov/news/icy-winter-weather-mix-forecasted-austin-area.

For the most up-to-date information about City of Austin operations, monitor City social media on Twitter or Facebook (@austintexasgov).
Decisions about City of Austin delays and closures are made based on the best available information that officials have at the time. Weather forecasts, road conditions and other warnings are subject to change that can be sudden.
For information on school delays and other governmental offices, monitor those organization communication channels and local media.

Demand for COVID-19 Vaccine Home Visits Decreases in 2023


Mobile Vaccination Program conducted 864 home visits last year and will reallocate resources toward long-term care facilities

Austin Public Health (APH) will be ending its Mobile Vaccination Program (MVP) Home Visit Program on Jan. 31, 2023, after offering at-home vaccine services to our community in the last two years. 

“Home visits were essential in APH’s efforts to increase vaccine access, especially for those who were immobile and unable to visit a clinic. Patients who requested a visit received a COVID-19 vaccine from one of APH’s trained nursing staff,” said APH Director Adrienne Sturrup.  

The program’s success was apparent in the demand APH saw – At its height, the waitlist for home visits topped 500. The MVP was able to reduce the waitlist to zero by the end of 2022. 

In 2023, the demand for home visits has dropped significantly, allowing efforts and resources to focus on other priority populations, including senior centers and long-term care facilities. 

COVID-19 vaccines are widely available throughout the community at doctor’s offices, pharmacies and other providers. Visit Vaccines.gov (Vacunas.gov in Spanish) to find flu and COVID-19 vaccine providers near you. 

Members of the public can schedule an appointment at APH’s Shots for Tots clinics by calling 512-972-5520. 

Free COVID-19 tests    

Free mail-order rapid antigen test kits are available once again through covid.gov/tests. Households are eligible for another round of four tests for a limited time.    

At-home COVID-19 test kits are available at APH Neighborhood Centers while supplies last. The U.S. Department of Health and Humans Services also lists community-based testing sites online.     

Free masks (N-95 respirators)     

Use the CDC’s mask-locator tool to find pharmacies near you that provide free masks (N-95 respirators). It does not show current inventories, so check with the location for availability.  

About Austin Public Health  

Austin Public Health is the health department for the City of Austin and Travis County. Austin Public Health works to prevent disease, promote health and protect the well-being of all by monitoring and preventing infectious diseases and environmental threats and educating about the benefits of preventative behaviors to avoid chronic diseases and improve health outcomes. 

Monday, January 30, 2023

City Offices Open Tomorrow, Jan. 31, Some Operations May be Affected

City offices and facilities will be open during regular business hours tomorrow, Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2023. However, due to forecasted winter weather conditions, some City staff will telecommute and operations may be delayed or reduced during the day.  

For updates on City operations visit www.austintexas.gov/alerts.  

Trash/Recycling/Compost Collection 
Residents should place trash, recycling, and compost carts at their curb on their regular collection day. Weather and traffic conditions could cause some collection delays. 

Austin Municipal Court and the Downtown Austin Community Court will delay opening until 10 a.m. For docket information on the Austin Municipal Courts, call 512-974-4800. For docket information on the Downtown Austin Community Court, call 512-974-4879. The Downtown Austin Community Court's Violet KeepSafe Storage program (VKS), Homeless Services, Court Services, and Community Services will also be opening at 10 a.m. tomorrow. 

Parks and Recreation 
Golf courses will be closed. All other public facing PARD facilities, including Barton Springs Pool and Big Stacy Pool will open at 8:30 a.m. Swim at your own risk at Barton Springs Pool has been cancelled on Tues 1/31. More info about park closures, visit: http://AustinTexas.gov/ParkClosures  

Austin Public Library 
All Austin Public Library locations will open at 10 a.m. 

The City of Austin will continue to monitor conditions and will provide updates as they become available. 

For information about Cold Weather Shelters, Warming Centers, and other impacted City operations visit: https://www.austintexas.gov/news/icy-winter-weather-mix-forecasted-austin-area

For the most up-to-date information about City of Austin operations, monitor City social media on Twitter or Facebook (@austintexasgov). Additionally, updates will be posted on the City’s website at www.austintexas.gov/alerts. Information will also be available by calling 3-1-1. 

Decisions about City of Austin delays and closures are made based on the best available information that officials have at the time. Weather forecasts, road conditions and other warnings are subject to change that can be sudden. 

For information on school delays and other governmental offices, residents are encouraged to monitor those organizations' communication channels and local media.

Council Member Vela to Host I-35 Town Hall with Council Members Fuentes, Velásquez, Alter, & Qadri

Thursday, Feb. 2, 2023, Council Members Chito Vela, Zo Qadri, José Velásquez, Vanessa Fuentes, and Ryan Alter will host a joint I-35 Town Hall. The goal of this event is to learn about the community’s perspective on the I-35 expansion project.
Austin Permitting & Development Ctr
Room 1405
6310 Wilhelmina Delco Dr
Austin TX 78752
6:00 PM - Presentation
6:45 PM - Questions from the community
The town hall will focus on giving the community baseline knowledge of the plans and implications of TxDOT’s I-35 expansion project, as well as gaining an understanding of the community’s perspective on the project.

  • Council Member José “Chito” Vela
  • Council Member Vanessa Fuentes
  • Council Member Zo Qadri
  • Council Member José Velásquez
  • Council Member Ryan Alter


Icy Winter Weather Mix Forecasted in Austin Area


City of Austin Prepares: Encourages Residents to Prepare Also  

The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a Winter Storm Warning in effect for January 30, 2023 at 9:00 a.m. CST until February 1, 2023 CST at Noon. The cold front came in last night and, overnight, the NWS enhanced the Warning area to cover Travis County as well as additional counties east in Central Texas. 

The City of Austin Office of Homeland Secuity and Emergency Management (HSEM) has activated a Situational Assessment Team at the Emergency Operations Center and will be monitoring weather conditions overnight. 

Cold Weather Shelters for the Unhoused: 

The City is activating its Cold Weather Shelters tonight (1/30) and tomorrow night (1/31).  

Cold Weather Shelter Activation Thresholds:  

  • 32 degrees or colder overnight   
  • 35 degrees, with rain/wet   
  • 35 degrees, with wind chill of 32 or colder  

The City uses the National Weather Service weather report at Camp Mabry as the official location for assessing temperatures due to its central location and proximity to Downtown.  

  • Individuals can get information about access and activation by calling the Cold Weather Shelter Hotline at 512-305-4233.   
  • Shelter registration takes place between 6:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. at One Texas Center (OTC), 505 Barton Springs Road.   
  • CapMetro transports registered individuals from the OTC to a Cold Weather Shelter.   
  • While Cold Weather Shelters are primarily accessed by people experiencing homelessness, they are available to anyone in need of a warm place to spend the night. 

Warming Centers: 

City Parks Facilities and Libraries serve as warming shelters during regular businesses hours.  Parks facilities will be closing at 6 p.m. Today. Austin Libraries will maintain regular operating hours today.  

Winter Weather Tips.  We are asking residents to make sure they are ready for winter weather conditions. Follow tips at austintexas.gov/winterweather   

  • People – Before going outside, dress in layers to protect yourself from the cold. While heating your home, do not use a generator, grill, camp-stove, or any gasoline, propane, or charcoal-burning device because they generate deadly carbon monoxide gas. 
  • Pets – Bring your pets inside to keep them warm and safe.   
  • Pipes – Insulate or cover exposed pipes to protect them from freezing, turn off outside faucets, drip ONE faucet only if needed . 
  • Plants – cover your plants or bring them in. 

Stay informed:   

Follow additional safety tips from City of Austin departments.  

Austin Parks and Recreation Department  

All Austin Parks and Recreation facilities will close at 6:00 p.m. on January 30, 2023. For additional park closures, visit AustinTexas.gov/ParkClosures

During icy weather, look up to check for branch failures before walking under trees. Some isolated areas may get more ice than others, so there may be minor accumulations in one area and major storm damage in another area of town. Call 311 to report damaged trees on City parkland.  

Austin-Travis County Emergency Medical Services  

The ATCEMS Department Operations Center (DOC) has been activated. Additionally, several temporary policy changes are in effect, which the community may notice.  

The following steps are completed or in progress: 


  • ATCEMS may modify its transport guidelines as weather conditions impact road travel. 

  • Additional single-unit response assets will be deployed to assist in any increased call volume. 

  • The Alternative Transport Unit (ATU) is currently staffed and on duty to assist in transporting low acuity patients to appropriate facilities. ATCEMS Command Staff is attempting to make arrangements to keep this resource on 24 hours a day for the duration of the event. 

  • ATCEMS is working to expand the capabilities of our Collaborative Care Communications Center (C4) to be available 24 hours a day as an additional resource for finding appropriate dispositions for low acuity patients, including telehealth consults. 

  • ATCEMS Executive and Command Staff are holding regular planning and logistics meetings to continue preparations, respond to any unanticipated needs, and make additional adjustments as necessary. 

Fleet and Facilities: 

  • Preparing all response vehicles for cold weather operations, to ensure our fleet is not negatively impacted by the frigid temperatures.  

  • Additional measures are being taken to ensure all emergency response vehicles remain operational and ready for response. 

  • EMS Fleet and Facilities staff have been placed on-call to respond to any unanticipated needs. 

Supply Warehouse: 

  • ATCEMS Supply Warehouse staff has stockpiled extra cold weather supplies both at our central supply warehouse and has added additional supplies to all ATCEMS stations. 

  • EMS Supply Staff have been placed on-call to respond to any unanticipated needs. 

Austin Water 

Austin Water encourages customers to take steps now to protect their property and prevent damage:  

  • Locate your water shutoff. Locate the water main shutoff valve and keep it clear of debris and obstacles. For most homes, the property owner’s shutoff valve is on your side of the water meter at the meter box. For renters, please consult with your property manager. If you cannot find your shutoff valve or if it is damaged, then you should be prepared to access the City shutoff valve in the meter box in an emergency. You may need a water meter key to open the meter box, which can be purchased at most hardware stores. 

Watch a video about how to locate your water shutoff. 

  • Weatherize to keep out cold air.  Make repairs to broken or drafty windows, doors, and walls. Seal all leaks in crawl spaces and basements. Winterize unheated spaces and be prepared to close garage doors for the duration of the freeze. Cover vents on your home’s foundation.
  • Weatherize exposed pipes and water heaters. Insulate pipes in unheated and drafty areas, such as an attic or garage. Also check manufacturer recommendations for your tanked and tankless water heaters. Hardware and plumbing supply stores carry insulation to help keep pipes from freezing. 
  • Learn how to drip faucets properly. After the measures above are taken, and if temperatures drop below freezing for an extended period of time, drip one cold water faucet slowly if you feel your pipes may still freeze. The faucet you choose should be the one that is the greatest distance from your main shutoff valve. It does not need to be a running trickle. If you do drip your faucet, capture the water for future use.  

Watch a video about how to drip faucets properly. 

  • Outside faucets. Austin Water encourages all customers to turn off irrigation systems during the winter months to help conserve water. Wrap outside faucets with towels or a Styrofoam insulator. 
  • Sign up for notifications through Austin Water’s My ATX Water customer portal. Follow additional tips on freezing temperatures.  
  • Austin Water’s 24-Hour Emergency Hotline can be reached at 512-972-1000, Option 1. 

Austin Energy  

Austin Energy is monitoring the weather closely and crews are ready to respond as the winter weather rolls into Austin.  

In extreme cold, ice can add heavy weight and bring wires in contact with trees which may also lead to downed power lines. Do not drive over or go near a downed power line, as it could be energized. Call 311 if you see a downed line to report it. If the line is sparking, call 911.  If you see limbs on wires or see downed tree limbs, please call 311 to report them. 

In case of a power outage:   

  • Unplug appliances and turn off most lights to avoid overloading circuits when power is restored.   

  • Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed during an outage and follow FDA guidelines for food safety. 

  Stay Informed    

  • To report a power outage, text OUT to 287846 or visit outagemap.austinenergy.com. You can also report an outage by calling 512-322-9100.   nee 

  • Register for Austin Energy’s Outage Alerts by texting REG to 287846   

  • Learn more about how to stay warm, stay safe, and save on your utility bill during winter weather at austinenergy.com/go/winter.   

  • Monitor ERCOT grid conditions at ERCOT.com for information impacting local and statewide electricity service.   

  • Customers are also urged to tune in for Austin utility emergency alerts by bookmarking COAUtilities.comaustinenergy.com.  

  • Follow Austin Energy on social media:   

Electrical Safety Tips:   

  • If using an electric space heater, be sure it has an automatic shut-off switch and non-glowing elements, and make sure to keep away from flammable materials.   

  • Never heat your home with a gas oven or burn anything in a stove or a fireplace that is not vented. Do not burn paper in a fireplace.   

Austin Public Works Department 

Austin Public Works is proactively monitoring local streets ahead of forecasted precipitation and freezing temperatures. Crews from our Street and Bridge Operations division have mobilized around-the-clock crew coverage to monitor roadway conditions and address weather impacts. This includes monitoring elevated surfaces/bridges, pre-treating them as needed; applying traction enhancement materials to already-icy roadways; responding to weather related 3-1-1 requests; and removing any tree limbs or debris blocking the right of way. 

PWD does not pre-treat all roadways, bridges and elevated surfaces ahead of freezing temperatures and precipitation. Treatment is performed as conditions warrant and resources allow. If travel is necessary, please be mindful of road conditions in your area. 

Austin Transportation 

The Austin Transportation Department is also advising residents to take steps to travel safely in response to this week’s forecast of winter weather. If you do need to travel, please be especially cautious around elevated areas such as bridges and overpasses. Anyone traveling during potentially icy conditions are advised to:    

  • Monitor weather conditions before setting out on your trip and avoid traveling, if possible.

  • Avoid elevated roads, such as overpasses and bridges, if possible.   

  • Plan additional time for travel, go slowly and turn carefully.   

  • Avoid sudden braking or accelerating to maintain traction.   

  • Ensure you have packed emergency supplies in your vehicle such as blankets, jumper cables, emergency lights, and a cell phone charger in case of a crash or emergency.   

Residents who need to report traffic light outages, road damage or any other weather-related concerns, may do so by contacting Austin 3-1-1 via phone (dial 3-1-1 or 512-974-2000) or the Austin 311 mobile app. Austin Transportation will be providing updates in case of an emergency on the department’s Facebook and Twitter channels.  

Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS)  

Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS) remains open to travelers and aircraft. Department of Aviation staff are monitoring weather conditions and will treat roadways, walkways, runways and other airfield infrastructure with de-icing chemicals and equipment as needed. Because airlines oversee de-icing of their aircraft and because severe weather in other parts of the country can disrupt airline operations, travelers flying out today through Wednesday afternoon should confirm their flight’s schedule prior to leaving for the airport. Travelers can follow updates from the airport’s Twitter account, @AustinAirport 

City to Launch Major Recruitment Campaign to Address Staffing Shortages


Largest Citywide Hiring Campaign in History will Highlight Benefits of Public Service

The City of Austin will be launching a major jobs campaign to promote hard-to-fill positions and increase recruitment across the organization. 
The Citywide hiring campaign, led by the City’s Human Resources Department and Communications and Public Information Office, is the largest in the City’s history and will run for six months, starting Feb. 1. It will leverage print, digital, social media, radio, billboards, buses and more to ensure broad reach and recognition. 

The campaign aims to recruit residents of central Texas who are focused on public service and helping the community and may be attracted to the City's great benefits. The campaign’s key message is “Get Hired! It’s more than just a job. Find a career with the City of Austin.” 

Latest figures show that the City is beginning to make progress in reducing vacancy rates that have remained higher than normal since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Between Sept. 25, 2022, and Jan. 14, 2023, Citywide vacancy numbers fell by 7%, from 2,755 to 2,554, as more people were brought on board. The vacancy numbers for sworn public safety employees fell by 8% over the same period.

“While we’ve made progress in filling positions in recent months, we know there’s more work to do,” said Austin City Manager Spencer Cronk. “With departments intensifying their efforts to fill vacancies and our new Citywide hiring campaign ready to launch, we’ll continue to do everything we can to recruit and retain talented people to deliver the services our community expects.” 

While elevated vacancy rates are not unique to the City of Austin, or even to the central Texas labor market, the City Manager’s Office has made addressing them a priority for City leadership. Measures to increase recruitment and bolster retention were the centerpiece of the City's FY23 budget, which invested heavily in the City’s workforce by including an across-the-board pay increase of 4% for civilian staff – the largest increase in more than two decades – along with a 33% increase in the minimum wage. 

The compensation increases began in October 2022 and have already led to a higher volume of applications, and more hires, across many departments. However, the City is launching the new jobs campaign in recognition of the likelihood that vacancy rates will remain a challenge for the rest of the year. 

The City’s overall approach to compensation is to offer a competitive market salary and provide great health, retirement and other benefits, while balancing the need to maintain tax/rate payer affordability.

Aside from the planned jobs campaign, departments have undertaken and continue to plan for a range of actions to reduce vacancy rates. Recent departmental strategies for hiring, which vary across departments based on their specific needs and resources, include: 

  • Prioritizing critical vacancies.
  • Outreach and targeted recruitment to reach underrepresented communities.
  • Expanding reach via job fairs, professional and trade organizations, conferences, graduate programs, college campuses, citywide affinity groups, and social media.
  • Creation of recruitment videos and flyers with QR codes for quick access to job postings.
  • Simplifying application processes, including by eliminating requests for cover letters, and making them more mobile-friendly.
  • Making preferred qualifications more flexible.
  • Making sure candidates are aware of benefits and vacation time as part of offer.
  • Introduction and use of flexible schedules and telework opportunities as recruitment aids to support work-life balance.
  • Audits and regular surveys of employees to analyze and improve hiring processes and retain new hires.
  • Creation of paid internships and apprenticeship positions, with supervision opportunities for existing staff to help with career advancement.
  • Hiring and retention bonuses for employees in positions experiencing high rates of turnover 
  • Incentives for employees who refer new hires.
  • Increased budgets to support professional certifications, training, and associations.
  • Hiring additional HR Advisors to assist hiring managers.

Austin-Travis County EMS
In September, the City increased starting pay for EMTs and paramedics. ATCEMS decreased the minimum entry level qualifications for its Cadet-Field positions and increased its Cadet Academies from 2-3 per year to 4 per year, which has helped reduce vacancies by at least 60 positions since October 2022, with 70-80 additional hires expected by December 2023. 

Austin Police Department 
While APD continues to work to fill current vacancies, the City welcomed 63 new officers to the Department in 2022, all of whom graduated from a reimagined, community-focused training academy including a curriculum centering on diversity and equity. A one-time $5,000 hiring bonus has been introduced for qualified applicants. 
The City has taken a range of actions – including pay raises and pay scale adjustments – to address specific challenges with emergency call center vacancies. As a result of these changes, APD is seeing a higher volume of applications. The City hired three dispatchers in December 2022 and anticipates onboarding five dispatchers and four 911 call takers by the end of this month. Training schedules for both officers and emergency communications staff have been modified so that training can occur more quickly and more often and job offers made earlier. 

Austin Energy  
In FY 2022, Austin Energy filled 306 vacancies - 205 were internal candidates and 101 were external. This is an increase from 2021. While the internal promotions create new vacancies, they highlight Austin Energy’s workforce development efforts. So far for FY23 the utility has filled 108 positions – 71 internal promotions and 37 external hires. Austin Energy has reduced its vacancy rate from 14.5% at the end of December 2021 to 12.8% in mid-January 2023, the latest period for which figures are available.

Austin Water 
In FY 2022, Austin Water (AW) filled 300 vacancies - 92 were internal candidates and 208 were external. AW is committed to continuing to prioritize hiring in FY23, focusing on operational positions. As part of this effort, open houses are planned for potential operational position candidates at the Ullrich and Davis Water Treatment Plants, which will include on-the-spot assistance to help attendees complete and submit applications. AW offers a generous referral bonus and new hire incentives and is also partnering with professional organizations in the industry to develop new talent resources, including creation of a training module to be used in local high schools to teach students about water operations. AW has also begun surveying new hires and current employees to increase staff retention. 

Parks and Recreation Department 
The Parks and Recreation Department is focused on maximizing recruitment of lifeguards to staff the City’s pools over the summer season. It needs to hire about 700 lifeguards to fully operate the aquatic system while hundreds of other temporary employees are needed for summer camps and maintenance. The City recently raised its minimum wage to $20 per hour to keep up with the cost of living. Lifeguards now get free training and a free uniform. There is also a $400 lifeguard training stipend for staff who complete a certain number of work hours during the swim season. The Department has used media campaigns, social media, direct marketing, and paid advertising to help increase recruitment. 

Austin Public Library 
Austin Public Library (APL) decreased its vacancy rate from 18.7% in July 2022, to 11.8% in January 2023. Jobs are posted as soon as management learn of an upcoming departure, before positions become vacant. APL has held two large job fairs to hire temporary employees and establish a recruitment bench for regular-status jobs. Hiring and the vacancy rate are discussed at every Executive Leadership Team and Management Team meeting. 

Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS) 
The Department of Aviation continues to fill vacancies and support on-airport partners in filling their vacancies following historic pandemic impacts on the travel industry. The Department has started a program to hire temporary employees, which offers a faster way to fill vacancies and grow an internal candidate pool for full-time positions. The airport hosted a Job Showcase and Hiring Fair in September 2022 continues to support AUS concessions through a paid marketing recruitment campaign aimed at filling vacancies in airport restaurants and shops. The AUS Way Retention & Incentive Program launched in fall 2022 with monetary benefits based on tenure and for referrals for hard-to-fill positions. 

Watershed Protection Department 
Watershed Protection reduced its vacancy rate from almost 20% in early FY22 to 13.1% by January 2023. During FY22 it hired almost 140 employees, focusing on building an employee-friendly work environment by updating its telework policy to allow up to 80% remote working, and providing mobile phones instead of stipends to allow more digital access to employees, including field workers. 

Individuals can apply for positions at the City of Austin by visiting austincityjobs.org

Friday, January 27, 2023

Test, Vax, Mask

test, vaccine, and mask

COVID-19 Tests    

Another round of FREE mail-order COVID-19 test kits is available online. Each household can order four tests through covid.gov/tests

The APH Neighborhood Services Unit has free COVID-19 rapid antigen test kits available for pickup at Neighborhood Centers, while supplies last.  

Rosewood Zaragosa Neighborhood Center - Central East Austin  
2800 Webberville Road, Austin, TX 78702  

South Austin Neighborhood Center - South Austin  
2508 Durwood Street, Austin, TX  78704  

St. John Community Center - Northeast Austin  
7500 Blessing Avenue, Austin, TX  78752  

East Austin Neighborhood Center - East Austin  
211 Comal Street, Austin, TX 78702  

Montopolis Community Center - Southeast Austin  
1200 Montopolis Drive, Austin, TX 78741  

Blackland Neighborhood Center - Central East Austin  
2005 Salina Street, Austin, TX  78722  

The APH Information Line (512-972-5560) offers callers information regarding testing options, including directions 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 is available at private and nonprofit sites throughout Austin, including pharmacies, hospitals and urgent care centers. If you have private insurance, contact your doctor’s office or insurer to learn more about your assessment and testing options. Here are two more resources to find nearby community-based testing available at low or no cost:  

Note: If you are testing with a COVID-19 at-home testing kit and receive a positive result, you can report it using APH'’s online reporting form.     

Vaccine Providers   

Shots for Tots/Big Shots Clinics (By appointment only) 

Austin Public Health offers immunizations, COVID-19 vaccines and flu shots to children who are uninsured or Medicaid recipients – by appointment only. 
Learn more and make an appointment

Mobile Vaccine Program 

The Mobile Vaccination Program (MVP) offers COVID-19 vaccinations for specific groups in community-identified locations.  

If you are interested in scheduling a pop-up clinic at your facility, please complete this Austin Public Health Mobile Vaccination Request form.  

Have questions about the Mobile Vaccination Program? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.  

Community Vaccine Events 


Saturday, January 28, 2023 

Willie Mae Kirk Branch | Austin Public Library 

Monday, January 30, 2023 

Gus Garcia Recreation Center 

CDC Website for Vaccine Providers 

Visit Vaccines.gov (or Vacunas.gov in Spanish) to find a COVID-19 vaccine provider near you. 

Free Masks (N-95 respirators)    

Use the CDC’s mask-locator tool to find pharmacies near you that provide FREE masks (N95 respirators). It does not show current inventories, so check with the location for availability. 

New Website for Finding Free Local COVID-19 Testing Sites Nationwide


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) launched a new website to help people find free COVID-19 testing sites near them. You can visit testinglocator.cdc.gov to find retailers, commercial laboratory sites and community sites that offer testing at no cost to you.  

The website was launched as part of the CDC’s Increasing Community Access to Testing (ICATT) program to help communities that are at greater risk of being impacted by COVID-19 and who have less access to health care for tests. This effort will help to control surges by increasing testing and allowing for contact tracing.  

Medicare, Medicaid and private health insurance companies take on the costs of this testing so that it is free to the public and so that anyone can access testing without health insurance. Testing at these sites may include nucleic acid amplification tests (NAATs), such as polymerase chain reaction tests, or rapid antigen point of care (POC) testing.