Dear Colleague,

Today, Austin Public Health is launching the Austin Public Testing Enrollment Form, which allows the community to complete an online assessment for COVID-19.

This form can be accessed at

This is a new link, and the old physician’s enrollment tool will no longer work.

The new tool allows the public to be screened for COVID-19 symptoms without having to see their physician.


The form, which is accessed at, will use an algorithm based assessment to evaluate whether or not an individual should be referred to a testing site.

Completion of the online assessment will not guarantee referral to a testing site. Austin Public Health will continue to prioritize health care workers and first responders on the frontline of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as people at higher risk for developing severe symptoms. Testing continues to be by appointment-only and tests at the APH testing sites will be at no cost to the individual. If you are a health care provider in need of testing, please be aware you will be required to show your work ID in order to get tested.

Providers are encouraged to assist their patients in utilizing the new enrollment tool, as all enrollments provide APH with valuable information, which will help with result reporting, contact tracing, and future plans for asymptomatic testing.

Initial clinical criteria for testing has not changed, and follows CDC guidelines. The testing algorithm scores indicators and risk factors for COVID testing. Points are given for:

  • Age > 55
  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Recent contact with a positive patient, and
Comorbidities (DM, HTN, CVD, Immunosuppression, and Lung Disease) 

  • Individuals must create an account by filling out the form located at
  • The form asks several questions to determine the patient’s eligibility for a test based on set criteria. A person can fill out the form for someone who cannot do it themselves. This information is HIPAA-protected.
  • If an individual is approved for a test, the portal will allow them to schedule the location, date and time for their drive-through testing appointment.
    • Currently the testing sites available through the portal are drive thru only, so the patient must have access to a vehicle to utilize them.
    • Testing sites will include those operated by Austin Public Health as well as public- private partnership sites across Austin-Travis County.
    • The patient will receive a confirmation via phone, email or SMS with a QR code and instructions for the testing site within the same day.
  • If the patient does not meet testing criteria, they will be able to revisit the portal at any time to complete a new assessment, especially if their symptoms change in the following days.
  • The portal will also allow patients to see their test results, and provides a community forum to ask questions, and a knowledge base to view responses to frequently asked questions.
The HOST Team with Austin Travis County EMS will be able to complete the testing form for individuals who may not have access to a computer.

  • When a patient arrives at the drive-through testing location, they must remain in their vehicle.
  • Patients must show the technician the confirmation QR code along with any form of ID through their car window.
  • The technician at the testing site will then advise the patient on the next steps of the test.
  • The process from start to finish will take approximately 10 minutes.
  • Once test results are available, patients will receive an email notifying them that they can view their results in the online portal. They will not receive the results directly through text or email.
  • Patients can expect results in 3-4 days.
  • If a patient tests positive for COVID-19, they will receive an automated email message with instructions on how to mitigate additional community spread of the virus, as well as guidance on how to monitor symptoms to determine if additional medical supervision is necessary.  
  • Additionally, patients who test positive will be contacted by APH Epidemiologists for further advice, and for contract tracing.

Those who do not have access to transportation to the site will be provided other options to receive testing from community partners.

In addition to scheduling tests and monitoring confirmed positive cases, Austin Public Health will send an automatic exposure questionnaire to residents who test positive, which will help gather details on how the virus might have spread, such as travel and visits to high-traffic areas.

Collecting anonymized survey and testing information on this secure portal will help the City of Austin understand the spread of COVID-19 in the community and respond accordingly. This information will be used to ensure we are reaching our underserved and most vulnerable communities.

If necessary, the Austin Public Health will be able to rapidly create and revise the online questionnaire to gather new information regarding COVID-19. City employees analyze anonymized COVID-19 spread via reports, dashboards and heat maps to make evidence-based decisions as well as update the appropriate channels, including the media and the general public.

The application will also send follow-up emails or text messages to check in on each resident’s well-being, so medical care can be escalated if necessary.

APH is working diligently to establish a distributed network of test collection sites within existing health care providers, to further increase capacity for both symptomatic, and eventually possibly asymptomatic testing. As the situation evolves, more widespread testing will be needed, and information about those options will be communicated as it comes available.

Additionally, an option for physicians to enroll multiple patients at once is already being developed, and will be available in the near future.

If physicians are interested in having APH come in to their clinic or facility for testing, they should reach out directly to APH.

While the current testing sites available through the online portal are drive through only, APH is working with community partners to identify sites for future walk up testing facilities.

John Abikhaled, MD
TCMS President