Model of Coronavirus

Symptoms and Care

Flu vs. COVID-19

Because some of the symptoms of flu and COVID-19 are similar, it may be hard to tell the difference between them based on symptoms alone. Testing may be needed to help confirm a diagnosis.

For more information visit Flu in Austin (Influenza).

COVID-19 Symptoms

Mild symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough, headache, runny nose, loss of sense of smell/taste, sore throat, and/or diarrhea.

If you have mild symptoms you should seek testing. View our Testing page for more information.

Call 9-1-1 or go to the emergency room if you have severe symptoms, including difficulty breathing, chest pain, confusion, fever that doesn't respond to medication.

A printable version of  Seeking Care During COVID-19 flyer is available in English (PDF), Spanish (PDF), Chinese Simplified (PDF), Chinese Traditional (PDF), Vietnamese (PDF), Arabic (PDF), Urdu (PDF), Burmese (PDF), Korean (PDF)

Testing

High-Risk Individuals

Anyone can get COVID-19, but the risk increases with age. You are also at higher risk of severe illness if you have underlying medical conditions including asthma, lung disease, heart disease, kidney disease, liver disease, diabetes, severe obesity, and/or a weakened immune system

A printable version of a Chronic Disease and COVID-19 flyer is available in English (PDF)Spanish (PDF)Simplified Chinese (PDF)Traditional Chinese (PDF)Vietnamese (PDF),  Burmese (PDF)Korean (PDF), Arabic (PDF) and Urdu (PDF)


If You Test Positive

Help prevent the spread of disease by staying home except to get medical care; call ahead before visiting your doctor; and monitor your symptoms. Patients with confirmed COVID-19 should remain under home isolation precautions until the risk of secondary transmission to others is thought to be low.

  • Separate yourself from other people and animals in your home 
  • Avoid sharing personal items 
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes 
  • Clean your hands often 
  • Clean all high-touch surfaces every day

A printable flyer on Steps to Prevent Spread is available in English, Spanish (PDF), Vietnamese (PDF), Chinese Simplified (PDF), Chinese Traditional (PDF), Korean (PDF), Urdu (PDF), Burmese(PDF), and Arabic (PDF)

Contact Tracing: If you test positive, a case-worker may reach out to you. What to know if a case-worker contacts  you: 

APH case investigators will never ask for Social Security, Medicaid, insurance, immigration, or financial information.

If you believe you are receiving a scam call, request the name, title, and call back number and you can verify the information with the City of Austin by calling 311 to ask for that person.

Contact tracing helps prevent further transmission of COVID-19

Contact tracing helps prevent further transmission of COVID-19 by identifying, monitoring and supporting individuals who have been exposed. It can be broken down into 3 basic steps: 

  • Contact identification: Once someone is confirmed to be infected with the virus, contacts are identified by asking about the person’s activities and roles of the people around them since the onset of their illness. Contacts can be anyone who has been in contact with an infected person: family members, work colleagues, friends, or health care providers. 
  • Contact listing: Efforts should be made to identify every listed contact and to inform them of: their contact status, what it means, the actions that will follow, and the importance of receiving early care if they develop symptoms. Contacts should also be provided with information about prevention of the disease. 
  • Contact follow-up: Regular follow-up should be conducted with all contacts to monitor for symptoms and test for signs of infection.

When to Quarantine

Review this flowchart to determine how long to quarantine after being exposed to COVID-19.

If you were exposed to someone with COVID-19 and were not wearing a mask OR you live with or work in a setting with people who are at high risk for severe disease, you should quarantine for the full 14 days. If you were exposed to someone with COVID-19 and were wearing a mask and do not live with or work in a setting with people who are at high risk for severe disease, the following guidance applies:

  • Quarantine for 10 days, monitoring your symptoms OR quarantine for 7 days, monitoring your symptoms AND receive a negative COVID-19 test on or after day the 5th day following exposure.
  • If you are a healthcare worker or first responder, quarantine for 7 days, monitoring your symptoms AND receive a negative COVID-19 PCR test result on or after the 7th day of exposure.

If you develop symptoms during your quarantine period and test positive for COVID-19, you need to self-isolate for at least 10 days since symptoms onset and for at least 1 day following the resolution of fever and improvement of other symptoms.


Need a Place to safely distance due to COVID-19?

Austin & Travis County have established a Hotel Facility, which provides free lodging and services for those that do not have the ability to safely distance due to COVID-19. Learn more about free lodging at a hotel for those who need to safely distance, including who is eligible and who to contact, here.


Accessing Essentials While Isolating at Home

While you are under isolation, you may need to access essential items such as groceries and medications. APH has compiled a list of resources to assist.

Food, Medicine, Mental, Emotional Support

While you are under isolation, you may need to access essential items such as groceries and medications. APH has compiled a list of resources to assist.

Food/Personal Items

  • HEB Curbside
    • Fee: Free for First-time users. Service is free or $4.95
  • Walmart Pick-Up
  • Favor
    • Fee: $7.95 for delivery with $4.95 personal shopper fee
  • Instacart
    • Fee: Free delivery on your first order, $3.99 if order is over $35.00, $7.99 if order is under $35.00 (They also charge 3% fee to the price of each product, 5% service fee and 5% for tip for the driver)

If you do not drive or have a friend, family or neighbor who can pick up items and deliver them to your home or if you need help buying food, please call 512-972-6240.

Medication

  • HEB
  • Walmart
    • Fee: Free Standard Delivery (5-7 business days), $8 2nd Day Delivery, $15 Overnight Delivery
  • CVS
    • Delivery Fee: Many locations are waiving fees due to COVID-19
  • Walgreens
    • Delivery Fee: Free if order is over $35

If your pharmacy does not have a delivery option, check if they have a drive-thru location. You may call the pharmacy and find out if they can transfer your refill to another location for a one-time pick-up.

Emotional Support

Your emotional needs are important and if you are worried or upset, there is help. You may be feeling anxiety and worry, sleeping troubles, over or under eating, or sadness and depressed mood. If you have any of these symptoms, please reach out to:

  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
  • Integral Care 24-Hour Crisis Hotline: 512-472-HELP (4357)
  • National Alliance for Mental Illness Helpline: 1-800-950-NAMI (6264) or text NAMI to 741741 Monday-Friday 10:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. ET

Mental Health

Texas Health and Human Services have launched a 24/7 statewide mental health support line to help Texans experiencing anxiety, stress or emotional challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This new resource offers COVID-19-related mental health support for all Texans. People can call the Statewide COVID-19 Mental Health Support Line 24 hours a day, 7 days a week toll-free at 833-986-1919.

Returning to Work 

APH echoes recommendations from the CDC on guidance for individuals who have had COVID-19 on returning to work. Current health guidelines require individuals stay home under the following circumstances:

Return-to-Work Criteria

APH echoes recommendations from the CDC on guidance for individuals who have had COVID-19 on returning to work. Current health guidelines require individuals stay home:

At least 10 days following the onset of COVID-19 symptoms; AND At least one day following the resolution of fever; WITH Improvement of other symptoms.

View a Return to Work Guidance flyer (PDF) in EnglishSpanish, BurmeseSimplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Vietnamese, Urdu, and Korean

Employees should refrain from reporting to work if they meet any of the following criteria and self-quarantine. You may submit the following letters to your employer that contain additional details and information

Convalescent Plasma Donation

Plasma Donation Details

We Are Blood is actively collecting convalescent plasma donations from individuals who have had a clinical history of COVID-19 and have fully recovered from a COVID-19 infection. This plasma is being used to treat patients currently fighting COVID-19. To qualify as a convalescent plasma donor you must have:

  • A prior lab-confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 or clinical symptoms associated with COVID-19 infection,
  • Experienced no COVID-19 symptoms for at least 14 days, and
  • Meet standard donor eligibility criteria

We Are Blood will also perform SARS CoV-2 antibody testing on pre-screened donors who successfully donate using two different tests authorized by the FDA to qualify the donor and ensure the plasma meets EUA specifications. A reactive result on both antibody tests is required to qualify for convalescent plasma donation.

To find out more about the donation process and eligibility, 
visit WeAreBlood.org/convalescent-plasma.