AUSTIN (KXAN) — Long lines of vehicles snaked around orange cones and yellow tape at the Hancock Center parking lot Monday morning.
The lines each lead to COVID-19 testing tents outside the CommUnityCare clinic.
For 31-year-old Denise Munibez, this is her third attempt to get through one. She’s had a rough go over the weekend, trying twice and being turned away both times.
“The [CommUnityCare] flyer said testing till 4 and I came on Friday at 2:30 p.m., thinking that I was good, but it turns out that they stopped at 2 o’clock. So then I came on Saturday at 10:45 a.m., and by that time the cops had already blocked the entrance. So the cops said at 6:15 a.m. that the line was already wrapped up around, so my best bet was to come before 6 a.m. So we came around 5:40 and this whole parking lot was already filled. We had to park all the way to the second [tent].”
Munibez wasn’t alone in her car. Her 12-year-old daughter and 9-year-old son came along. The wait had them all restless.
“We’ve been here for awhile, and it’s kind of hard. With bathroom breaks and the kids being hungry, it’s kinda hard waiting in line,” she said.
Munibez thought she came early enough this time but that wasn’t the case. She feels the city needs more testing sites.
“It would help, especially with the fact that there’s so much of an increase.”
But there’s more to it than the city’s role, Munibez said.
“People have to do their part and just listen and stay home and take the precautions needed.”
Mayor Adler said in his nightly Facebook chat Friday: “Not everybody can get tested, we’re going to go back to only testing people who are symptomatic because we frankly don’t have enough testing capability and the tests are not coming back quickly enough.”
Munibez said her work required her to get tested if she wanted to come back, because she possibly came into contact with somebody who had it. She hasn’t had any symptoms, but she’s been out of work roughly a week. She’s “praying” she’s negative, and will wait to find out.
“[I] can’t get out of line or anything, so I really have to like, suck it up,” she said.
If you’re interested in getting tested, you can complete an online assessment for COVID-19 testing without having to see your physician.
How drive-thru testing works
Per the City of Austin website, drive-thru testing works as follows:
- 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 and 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.
- Test results will be sent to the individual by phone, email, or they will be able to access their results online. 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.