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Austin Public Health opens 2 new COVID-19 testing sites to better serve Latino, Black communities

The new sites are open Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

AUSTIN, Texas — On Monday, Austin Public Health (APH) opened two new COVID-19 testing sites to better serve the city’s Latino and Black communities.

The new sites – located at the Austin Public Library’s Little Walnut Creek Branch, near Rundberg Lane and North Lamar Boulevard in North Austin, and Southeast Branch, near the Dove Springs neighborhood in southeast Austin – are open three days a week and offer free drive-thru testing.

“These new testing sites are specifically located in those communities that are overwhelmingly Latino and African-American, where we see so many of these COVID cases and where sometimes families don't have a car,” Austin Councilmember Greg Casar told KVUE.

According to APH’s online dashboard, Latinos make up more than half of the city’s COVID-19 cases and nearly half of its deaths. U.S. Census Bureau estimates from 2019 show Latinos make up just about a third of Austin’s population.

Casar said many of them are frontline workers. 

“They've not been given the protections that they need, nor have they been given the levels of testing and public health support that they need,” he said.

To get a test at the City’s main testing site, located at the old Home Depot near East St. Johns Avenue and Interstate 35 in northeast Austin, you need a car. But at these two new testing sites, one is not required. You can walk up.

“This is really adding to our capabilities by having more testing sites in our hardest-hit neighborhoods,” Casar said. 

He encourages people with insurance to seek a test through their doctor or a clinic and to leave these new sites to the uninsured.

The new sites are open Mondays and Fridays from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. and Wednesdays from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Click here to schedule an appointment.

APH will open a new testing site at Givens District Park in East Austin on Monday, July 13, with the same hours as these two sites.

WATCH: Texas Division of Emergency Management using COVID-19 mouth swab tests

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