Austin Regional Clinic is prepared for the COVID-19 pandemic, making sure our clinics are safe for all patients. With our clinic safety protocols, telemedicine visits, and drive-up testing during the day, evenings, and weekends, we have you covered.
Patient Safety Protocols
ARC greeters screen all patients for symptoms of potential viral illness before entering the clinic. This protocol applies to all visits at all clinics, both primary care and specialty care.
- For patients with symptoms, the greeter checks them in from outside the clinic and asks them to wait in their car. An ARC staff member meets them at the door when their exam room is ready and escorts them directly to the exam room.
- Patients without symptoms check in at the front desk like usual.
Patients may be accompanied by one healthy adult per patient, if help is needed for the visit. Visitors with symptoms of any viral illness will be required to wait outside of the clinic.
COVID-19 Drive-up Testing
24/7 COVID-19 Hotline & Telemedicine Visits
Patients who suspect COVID-19 illness due to fever, cough, and shortness of breath or other viral symptoms should call the ARC 24/7 COVID-19 Hotline at 866-453-4525 to book a telemedicine visit with their doctor or an ARC doctor available after hours during the evenings and weekends.
If the patient’s symptoms indicate a test is necessary, the ARC physician will order the test from the ARC lab and instruct the patient to visit the nearest ARC drive-up testing site.
An ARC clinician will screen each patient at the drive-thru 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.
Currently, it takes 5-10 days to receive results from any of the labs. During periods of lighter demand the turnaround time for labs is 3-5 days. All negative results appear immediately in ARC MyChart.
Drive-Up Telemedicine Visit
Due to high rate of testing in our drive-up tents, we require that patients book a telemedicine visit before arriving at the clinic. If someone drives up without first having an initial physician evaluation, they will have the option of calling our appointment line to book a telemedicine visit or booking online with MyChart. The next available telemedicine appointment is often within hours or the next day. If patients meet the testing criteria after their telemedicine visit, they will be instructed to return to the drive-up testing tent. Read more about ARC’s telemedicine service.
Currently, state labs are not charging patients for this test and most insurance companies have agreed to cover costs for tests at commercial labs. For patients without insurance, the cost of the test at commercial labs is about $70, but that should always be confirmed with the lab as prices can vary.
Most insurance companies are waiving copays for COVID-19 related telemedicine visits. If you have questions about the cost of the visit, please check with your health plan. For patients without insurance, ARC offers the same 25% discount as all other visits. The cost depends on what is covered in the visit.
Drive-Up Testing Hours and Locations - North to South
Most people, especially children and those under 60 with no chronic medical conditions, who contract COVID-19 develop very mild symptoms that include:
Read more about COVID-19 symptoms
When should I call my doctor?
You should seek medical advice if you have symptoms of fever, a dry cough, fatigue, or shortness of breath, especially if you are over 60 or have underlying health conditions. If you develop emergency warning signs for COVID-19, get medical attention immediately. Emergency warning 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
Call the 24/7 ARC COVID-19 Information and Advice Hotline at 866-453-4525 if you have questions.