Austin Regional Clinic ensures that 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.
- Please wear a surgical mask to your visit for the health and safety of yourself and others. Strict mask use has proven successful in protecting the health and safety of our doctors and staff. We also comply with all local ordinances concerning COVID-19 health and safety measures. Please note that a surgical mask is preferred; a cloth mask is acceptable. If you have a valved mask, you can ask for a surgical mask from the greeter to replace or wear with your valved mask.
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 1-2 days to receive results.
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.
Insurance companies currently cover costs for tests. For patients without insurance, the cost of the test at ARC is $134 – $100 with our cash pay/discount.
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/Curbside 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.
COVID-19 vaccine frequently asked questions
Is ARC going to provide the COVID-19 vaccine?
Yes. ARC clinics are registered with the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS). We will follow the DSHS phased approach guidelines when we receive the vaccine. We may have it available at a limited number of clinics initially. Read updates about Texas DSHS COVID-19 Distribution plans.
Which vaccine will ARC provide?
The Pfizer vaccine will be the first one we receive. It has so far demonstrated 95% efficacy to protect individuals from contracting COVID-19. This vaccine requires two doses, 21 days apart.
Who will be the first to get the COVID-19 vaccine?
Phase 1 of the COVID-19 Vaccination Program in Texas will involve very limited distribution of vaccine for first responders and frontline healthcare workers. ARC is required to follow the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) phased plans. Inventory, distribution, and any repositioning of vaccine will be closely monitored through reporting to ensure end-to-end visibility of vaccine doses. Read more about the phased rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine in Texas.
When will the COVID-19 vaccine be available at ARC?
ARC expects to receive a very limited number of doses of COVID-19 vaccine for first responders and frontline healthcare workers in late December or early next year. As we receive additional shipments throughout the year, we will expand vaccinations according to the Texas DSHS COVID-19 vaccine allocation and vaccination prioritization guidelines. ARC works very closely with the state and local health departments responsible for managing local distribution of the vaccine and has registered our clinics with DSHS as authorized vaccination sites. Read more about the phased rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine in Texas.
How do I know when ARC will have vaccine for me?
- ARC does not yet have a schedule for all phases of the planned rollout in Central Texas. We will continue to update our patients as we receive further details.
- Phase One is planned for first responders and frontline healthcare workers as outlined by the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) Expert Vaccine Allocation Panel (EVAP). We expect the first vaccines to arrive in late December or early next year. Read more about the vaccine allocation guideline principles in Texas.
How much will the COVID-19 vaccine cost?
The vaccine cost includes the actual vaccine and the vaccine administration fee. Texas Medical Association (TMA) has informed ARC that the federal government will pay for each COVID-19 vaccine through the end of the national public health emergency. Most individual health plans, Medicare, and Medicaid will cover COVID-19 vaccine administration fees without cost-sharing.
Will I be able to get the COVID-19 vaccine in the clinic or curbside?
ARC will provide in-clinic vaccinations at most locations and if possible, we will offer curbside shots at a select few as well. You can expect to book an appointment, provide necessary personal and insurance information, and sign consent forms in order to get vaccinated.
Will ARC provide a single dose vaccine or 2-dose vaccine?
Pfizer’s 2-dose COVID-19 vaccine is the first vaccine distributed by the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS). ARC will send reminders to patients to get their 2nd dose of the vaccine at least 3 weeks after the first dose.
Will I need to book an appointment to get a COVID-19 vaccine?
Yes, you can expect to book an appointment, provide necessary personal and insurance information, and sign consent forms in order to get vaccinated.
Should I get the vaccine if I am pregnant?
The COVID-19 vaccine has not yet been studied in pregnant women. This is best discussed with your Ob/Gyn physician so you can consider exposure risk and health complications.
Is the vaccine safe for children?
The CDC has approved the vaccine for 16 and older only. ARC is enrolling children between 12 and 15 years old for the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. Sign up your child for the COVID-19 Pfizer Study.
If I had a positive COVID-19 test or if I have antibodies is the vaccine needed?
People who have gotten sick with COVID-19 may still benefit from getting vaccinated as re-infection is possible. Experts do not yet know how long someone is protected from getting sick again after recovering from COVID-19. We won’t know how long immunity produced by vaccination lasts until we have more data. Click here for more information.
How long does immunity last from the vaccine?
We won’t know how long immunity produced by vaccination lasts until we have more data. Both natural immunity and vaccine-induced immunity are important aspects of COVID-19 that experts are trying to learn more about. Click here for more information.