COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions
If you don't find the answers you need or need in our FAQ to get tested, follow the links below.
Still have questions?
Are you experiencing symptoms?
Resources like testing and access to personal protective equipment for staff has been limited. How have these limitations been factored into difficult operational decisions by Central Health and CommUnityCare?
- Central Health-funded CommUnityCare Health Centers made the difficult decision to temporarily close some smaller, single-provider clinics.
- This decision was made to protect both patients and health care workers. during the COVID-19 outbreak. And it’s temporary.The decision to temporarily suspend services at some smaller sites helps conserve personal protective equipment (PPE) that is required to protect the health of patients and staff.
- CommUnityCare concentrates services at larger clinics.
- Shifting to medical visits over the phone and decreasing in-person appointments also helps with the priority of conserving personal protective equipment.
- Single-provider clinics are too small to allow for social distancing.
How can I have prescriptions filled?
CommUnityCare patients can have prescriptions mailed to their home by calling 512-978-8139, a free service, or they can pick up medications curbside at Central Health Southeast Health and Wellness Center on 2901 Montopolis Drive and patients of David Powell can pick up their prescriptions curbside at David Powell.
Where are COVID-19 testing sites?
Currently, due to shortage in testing and personal protective equipment, CommUnityCare has one drive-up testing location. However, Central Health-funded CommUnityCare Health Centers is opening drive-up COVID-19 testing sites in Eastern Travis County next week.
CommUnityCare Hancock Health Center drive-up testing location will continue to operate 6 days a week:
1000 E 41st Street Ste: 925
Monday – Friday; 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Saturday 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
At all testing locations, medical staff wearing personal protective equipment conduct a medical screening through the vehicle’s window. The patient never leaves their car. If they meet certain criteria determined by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevent including having symptoms (e.g. fever, cough, difficulty breathing) patients are tested for COVD-19. Test results usually take 24-48 hours.
Community members can call CommUnityCare’s COVID-19 Hotline at 512-978-8775 for guidance if they believe they have symptoms or have been in close contact with a person with known symptoms or who has been diagnosed with COVID-19.
How can I get coverage?
You may be eligible for local health coverage programs such as the Medical Access Program (MAP), Medicaid, or Children’s Health Insurance Plan (CHIP). In Travis County, call Central Health at 512-978-8130 to see what program may work for you. MAP applications may be downloaded at net/covid19 in English and Spanish.
If you’ve lost a job and had a change in income or lost health insurance, you could qualify for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) Health Insurance Marketplace. If someone believes they may be eligible they can call Sendero at 1-844-800-4693, and we can help walk you through the process.
What emotional and health services are available?
Texas Health and Human Services has launched a 24/7 statewide mental health support line to help Texans experiencing anxiety, stress or emotional challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
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.
Sendero is offering mental health crisis assistance available 24 hours a day, 7 day a week toll-free as well. Sendero members should call 1-855-765-9696 whenever they feel they need emotional or mental support.
What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure and include:
- Shortness of breath
How can I help health care workers?
People can donate personal protective equipment (PPE):
- N95 respirator masks
- Surgical gowns
- Surgical gloves
- Face Shields
- Hand sanitizer (containing at least 60% alcohol)
- Cloth masks
You may email Leonor Dominguez at: [email protected] to coordinate drop off.
Can you please explain what the process is when someone calls the hotline?
- If someone calls to inquire about testing they are screened over the phone. They meet certain criteria – including they must have symptoms like fever, a cough or difficulty breathing.
- If they’re experiencing those symptoms we are recommending they get tested at a nearby drive-up testing site.
- When individuals call the hotline, we also provide education regarding COVID-19 as many are calling with questions.
What are Central Health and CommUnityCare’s plan to re-open clinics in Eastern Travis County?
CommUnityCare is in the early stages of planning how to re-open these closed clinics. The decision to re-open is based on three criteria:
- Availability of medically approved personal protective equipment to protect staff and patient safety.
- Availability of staff. In the event staff are out due to illness CommUnityCare may not have enough personnel to safely and adequately care for patients at all of its locations.
- Governmental directives that limit or restrict the delivery of specific health care services. For example, CommUnityCare is no longer providing elective dental procedures consistent with Governor Abbott’s order requiring postponement of these services until 11:59 pm on April 21st. A consequence of this order was CommUnityCare’s decision to temporarily close its Ben White Dental.
What is the role of the Central Health Enterprise in Local COVID-19 Response?
Although the Central Health Enterprise (Central Health, CommUnityCare Health Centers, Sendero Health Plans) has been closely following the developing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak in our region, Austin Public Health is our regional public health authority and has been leading efforts to research, gather, and disseminate information to the community. For the latest news and information, please visit the APH website at austintexas.gov/COVID19.
What kind of appointments work well over the phone?
Chronic disease management for people with conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure, and many acute conditions that don’t require lab work.
What number should I call if I’m experiencing COVID-19 Symptoms?
You can call CommUnityCare’s COVID-19 Hotline at 512-978-8775 for guidance if you believe you have symptoms or have been in close contact with a person with known symptoms or who has been diagnosed with COVID-19.
How can I receive medical care?
- CommUnityCare patients can access health care from your phone – smart phones aren’t needed.
- CommUnityCare patients can schedule to talk to a medical provider by calling 512-978-9015.
Will there be more testing sites? Where will these testing sites be located?
Central Health-funded CommUnityCare Health Centers is opening drive-up COVID-19 testing sites in Eastern Travis County next week.
Four sites are planned for locations in Manor, Colony Park, Hornsby Bend and Del Valle. These drive-up testing sites will be open for a single day each week with the testing team rotating amongst these sites. Central Health and CommUnityCare are working with partners and the community to identify suitable locations.
CommUnityCare currently offers free COVID-19 testing without an appointment in Travis County for people with no insurance and no doctor.
The ability to expand testing sites is solely dependent on the availability of testing. Currently, there is a shortage of testing kits (nasopharyngeal – or NP – swab) and viral transport systems to return samples for testing at remote labs.
CommUnityCare is working to secure its testing supply chain to assure there are enough tests.
CommUnityCare Hancock Health Center drive-up testing location will continue to operate 6 days a week.
What services are available for Sendero Health Plan Members?
Sendero is one of the few health plans that is waiving COVID-19 treatment and testing costs for all members using in-network providers.
For free, members can have their maintenance medications mailed to his/her home and/or request a 90 days supply of medications as well.
Members have access to free 24/7 services during this time, and they are telemedicine and the Nurse Advice Line at 1-855-880-7019.
How can I protect myself from the spread of COVID-19?
- Wash hands often with soap and warm water for 20 seconds and encourage others to do the same.
- If no soap and water are available, use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
- Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then throw the tissue away.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Disinfect surfaces, buttons, handles, knobs, and other places touched often.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Practice social distancing. Social distancing involves staying away from other people to avoid catching or spreading illness. It’s a fancy term for avoiding crowds and minimizing physical contact, and/or staying at least six feet away from others.
How can I make a face mask?
- Face masks prevent people with COVID-19, but who may not know it and have no symptoms, from spreading the virus.
- You can make your own mask with items around your house like scarves, bandanas or t-shirts.
- The cloth face mask should:
- Fit snuggly but comfortably against the side of the face.
- Be secured with ties or ear loops.
- Include multiple layers of fabric – you can do this by folding the fabric.
- Allow for breathing without restriction.
- Be washable.
What are the criteria for testing at Hancock given the current shortage in available tests? We’ve had several individuals with symptoms who have been sent home to quarantine without being tested. Is the standard the same as emergency rooms at this time?
- We conduct a medical screening, including taking the patient’s temperature. If they meet certain criteria – including they must have symptoms like fever, a cough or difficulty breathing, we test them.
- If they’re experiencing those three symptoms we are recommending to get tested at a nearby drive-up testing site.
Can uninsured people in Williamson county access testing with CommUnityCare?
As a Federally Qualified Health Center, CommUnityCare does not deny access to care to anyone.