Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness that is spreading from person to person. The virus spreads mainly between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet) through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person speaks, sings, coughs or sneezes.

The COVID-19 virus is not that same as the coronaviruses that commonly circulate among humans and cause mild illness, like the common cold.

Those who are 5+ can get vaccinated to protect themselves and their loved ones from COVID-19. Those who are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated are recommended to continue masking and social distancing in most situations.

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

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.

 Schedule a COVID-19 Test

If you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, you should self-isolate and get tested.

If You Test Positive

Stay Home if You are Sick

Help prevent the spread of disease by staying home except to get medical care. You can discontinue isolation after: 

  • At least 10 days have passed following the onset of symptoms AND 
  • At least 1 day has passed following the resolution of fever WITH the improvement of other symptoms

At home, anyone sick or infected should separate from others, stay in a specific “sick room” or area, and use a separate bathroom (if available), and avoid sharing personal household items (i.e. cups, towels, and utensils). 

Contact Tracing
  • If you test positive, a case worker may reach out to 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 by identifying, monitoring and supporting individuals who have been exposed

When to Quarantine

Those who are fully vaccinated do not need to quarantine following a known exposure unless you develop symptoms. 

For those who are partially or unvaccinated, 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 an Isolation Facility—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 an Isolation Facility for those who need to safely distance, including who is eligible and who to contact.

Treatments: Monoclonal Infusions 

On August 13, Governor Abbott announced the launch of monoclonal infusion centers throughout the state of Texas. The Capital Area Trauma Regional Advisory Council (CATRAC) is working with the Texas Division of Emergency Management and area healthcare providers to make monoclonal antibody therapy treatments available to COVID-19 patients at a Regional Infusion Center. The infusion center, equipped with Regeneron's monoclonal antibodies, treats COVID-19 patients who do not need hospitalization with therapeutic drugs that can prevent their condition from worsening and requiring hospital care. The center also helps increase bed capacity in hospitals so that resources are available for the most ill patients.

Patients are accepted by physician referral only. Referring physicians can access the referral and order-set form on the CATRAC web site
For more information, please call the Infusion Hotline at 1-800-742-5990.

Convalescent Plasma Donation

If you have recovered from COVID-19 and have been without symptoms for at least fourteen days, you can help a COVID-19 patient in our community by donating whole blood or platelets at We Are Blood.