Austin Regional Clinic Offers ‘Drive-Up’ COVID-19 Testing in Austin, Cedar Park, Kyle, Round Rock

Austin Regional Clinic (ARC) will open “drive-up” COVID-19 testing this week in tents outside five ARC locations in Austin, Cedar Park, Kyle and Round Rock.

A drive-up site at its South 1st clinic in Austin is already operating. The other four sites will open by Thursday, April 2.

All those wishing to be tested must have a lab test order from an ARC physician which can be received from an initial evaluation by an ARC physician in the clinic or via telemedicine. A “telemedicine” appointment with an ARC doctor can be scheduled by calling ARC’s 24/7 COVID-19 Hotline at 866-453-4525. Telemedicine appointments will be made at drive-up sites for those who do not have a lab order.

“If the doctor finds you should be tested for COVID-19, you will be directed to our nearest drive-up testing site,” said Katie Henry, ARC Chief Administrative Officer. “Please, make sure you have had a telemedicine evaluation and have received a doctor’s order for testing so we can move patients through more quickly and easily.”

COVID-19 is the respiratory illness caused by the spreading coronavirus. ARC is launching drive-up testing in response to increasing public concern during the ongoing pandemic. Henry noted, “Patients appreciate that they put fewer people at risk and face less risk themselves by being tested outside. Like ARC, they want to minimize the spread of this virus in Central Texas.”

By conducting the testing outside its facilities, ARC minimizes staff usage of facemasks and other personal protective equipment (PPE), which is in short supply.

How Does Testing Work?

Patients with a lab order from an ARC physician will be asked to visit the nearest ARC drive-up testing site. An ARC clinician will screen each patient at the drive-up testing site to ensure they are not experiencing breathing difficulties. For those who do not require immediate medical attention, a nasal swab will be obtained and sent to the lab for COVID-19 testing. 

Patients will be contacted later with the test results, which can take anywhere from two to ten days. Currently, state labs are not charging patients for this test and most insurance companies have agreed to cover costs for tests at commercial labs.

“If someone drives up without first having an initial physician evaluation, we will offer to schedule them for the next available telemedicine appointment so a physician can determine whether a test is indicated,” Henry said.

That consultation may occur in the same parking lot, without much waiting time, via ARC’s telemedicine service. If patients meet the testing criteria, they will be instructed to return to the drive-up testing tent

Test Hours and Locations

At the following dates and locations, ARC drive-up testing will be available Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

When to Seek Medical Care

You should seek medical advice from your primary care physician if you have symptoms of fever, a dry cough, fatigue or shortness of breath – especially if you are over age 60 or have underlying health conditions. 

If you develop emergency warning signs for COVID-19, seek medical attention immediately. Emergency signs include:

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion or inability to arouse
  • Bluish lips or face

For questions or concerns, phone the 24/7 ARC COVID-19 Information and Advice Hotline at 512-421-5651.

About Austin Regional Clinic

Austin Regional Clinic (ARC) is a multispecialty medical group committed to providing comprehensive healthcare services throughout the greater Austin area. Founded by three physicians in 1980, it now provides health care to over 525,000 area residents in 28 locations in 12 cities, including both primary and specialty care. ARC is unique to the Austin area because of the widespread locations, convenient services, and quality assurance programs. ARC patients enjoy access to such conveniences as same-day appointments, 24/7 online and phone appointment scheduling, ARC MyChart patient portal, After Hours Clinics, and nursing services through the night. Most ARC offices also offer on-site radiology and lab services and some offices offer specialty programs such as a travel clinic and Healthiness program. For more information, visit www.austinregionalclinic.com.

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Tags: COVID-19

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