The Austin Chronicle

Don't Give the Gift of COVID This Season: Get Tested!

How to sign up for free testing with Austin Public Health

By Beth Sullivan, December 24, 2021, News

Amidst Austin's high community transmission rate, Austin Public Health officials are urging residents to get tested for COVID-19 before and after traveling this holiday season. Anyone potentially exposed to the virus or experiencing any signs or symptoms – regardless of vaccination status – should get tested, too. Mild symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough, headache, runny nose, loss of sense of smell/taste, sore throat, and/or diarrhea, according to APH.

APH testing sites and vaccine clinics will be closed for the Christmas holiday Thu.-Sun., Dec. 23-26, as well as for New Year's Fri.-Sun., Dec. 31-Jan. 2. As the Chronicle went to press on Tuesday, Dec. 21, the following testing sites were scheduled:

George Morales Dove Springs Recreation Center

(Walk-In) 5801 Ainez

Wed., Dec. 22 & Tue.-Thu., Dec. 28-30: 8am-2pm

Travis County Exposition Center

(Drive-Through) 7311 Decker

Wed., Dec. 22 & Mon.-Thu., Dec. 27-30: 8am-2pm

PCR testing at APH sites is not rapid; the turnaround on results typically takes 1-2 days. Tests at APH are free. The Texas Department of State Health Services has compiled a list of testing sites – including private pharmacies, public health centers, and urgent care centers – across the state. Users are advised to check location hours and referral requirements (if applicable) before visiting a site. To see the list, go to, scroll down to the bottom of the page, and click "View COVID-19 Test Collection Sites."

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