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Austin Public Health offering free COVID-19 tests until 2 p.m. Wednesday

Austin Public Health is offering two free testing centers that allow walk-ins.

AUSTIN, Texas — As more people prepare for holiday travel or to gather with their families, the need for COVID-19 testing is ramping up. The demand is so high, Travis County leaders said they have run out of at-home tests they were handing out.

However, Austin Public Health (APH) is offering two free testing centers that allow walk-ins: a drive-thru location at the Travis County Expo Center and an indoor location at the George Morales Dove Springs Recreation Center in southeast Austin. Both locations are open until 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 22.

APH recommends that those who want to get tested quickly to get registered. The drive-thru and in-person testing locations will be available only through Wednesday before the holiday this weekend.

William Malm, public information specialist with APH, recommends booking holiday coronavirus tests as soon as possible.

"I actually had to go to the Travis County Expo Center this morning, and I got through really fast. We have a great crew up there," said Malm.

At-home testing kits are selling out, and if you do snag one, be aware of where you're buying it from.

"Be extra vigilant. I would really recommend going through verified merchants like CVS, Walgreens, or other verified pharmacies," said Malm. 

In-home testing can also be an option for those who are unable to physically get to testing sites. For example, those with mobility issues are encouraged to call the APH nurse hotline to get an appointment scheduled.

RELATED: Yes, you’ll need to make a request to get a free at-home COVID-19 test from the government

Travis County announced it was offering free at-home testing kits, however, the County has run out as of Wednesday morning. Travis County was offering at-home tests at six different community centers around the county until 1 p.m. Wednesday. But all of the sites had to close early.

For those who already had scheduled an appointment through Travis County, at-home tests are still available.

The County does not plan on reopening those sites on Monday, Dec. 27, because Travis County needs a new shipment of at-home tests. A total of 1,362 kits were delivered in less than 24 hours.

To learn more about testing through APH, click here.


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