AUSTIN (KXAN) — “We had peace of mind on our front porch,” Jenny Carter said.
Her two kids, Gray and Adelaide, are medically high-risk. When her family had a COVID-19 scare during the summer spike, they took action. Her husband, Jarod Carter, remembers the day vividly.
“I was like frantically trying to find a place to get tested and ended up around the corner at an urgent care and I just thought this is kind of crazy,” he said. “I’m in a waiting room of people with symptoms. You know, if I’m not positive now, am I gonna be in a few days?”
It was a question that morphed into a business model. Jarod started Austin Rapid Test when he couldn’t find other at-home options at the time.
“Having our own nurses come out and test her here on the front porch. It was just so convenient and safe… It made me realize as a client of my own business how important this can be for certain families and certain situations,” he said.
Since the start, he has serviced hundreds. Recently, bookings are ramping up before the holidays.
“Not just because the increase in cases but travel. A lot of people are pre-booking with us because a lot of destinations are requiring a negative report before you can actually go on your trip,” he said.
Long wait times to test and receive results were big factors for more folks flocking his way.
“We’re able to get the results to them very, very quickly. We have the rapid test as well as a lab send-off, yes, but both are of them are very fast turnarounds,” he said.
His end goal is to offer the same peace of mind his family found.
“Look, this is a really stressful time. Let’s, even though we’re doing a test on them, let’s try to make this a brighter part of their day because it is such a tough time for so many people, so it’s nice to be able to provide that service in a very safe and convenient way,” he said. “It really is nice when we get those bookings where someone else is in our situation where it really is not just a convenience thing but also a medical safety thing. That they don’t have to go somewhere and take risk to get tested and we can meet that need. It’s really heartwarming.”
A parent’s perspective
Local mother Angie Berry has lived in Austin for 12 years. When a COVID-19 exposure left her family scrambling for testing, they took to the road and waited in a cramped car to get tested at a clinic.
“The clinic did a great job, but we sat in our car for an hour. All four of us squeezed together and then had to come in our windows and test us. I didn’t feel like it was particularly easy or safe for anybody,” Berry said.
When they found Austin Rapid Test, it seemed like a no-brainer switch. Berry finds the option very convenient for a family like hers. Her husband travels and often schedules testing with Carter’s business. They have used their services at least nine to 10 times.
She likes that they offer multiple testing solutions — a rapid antigen test, a PCR test, and an antibody test.
“For us, it just seemed like an easy way to check all of the boxes quickly,” Berry said.
Her kids Grace, Patrick and Parker all like the convenient and more comfortable options.
“I really like it. It’s nice that it’s painless cause the one where you have to wait, I did the spit test for the at-home one, and that was a lot better than the nasal one, cause that one kind of hurt. And so, it was nice that it was quick and painless and I can go back to doing whatever instead of spending two hours at the place,” Grace said.
Berry believes her family will continue using Austin Rapid Test into the future until a promising vaccine is distributed.
“I’m no expert, but I think all of us can agree, it’s gonna take quite some time for everyone to get safe, from a vaccine standpoint, just in terms of getting enough people inoculated. But to have a service like this launched, there will be other situations and other times, and frankly just to be able to get tested for anything in your home and not have to go into a hospital or a doctor’s office I think is a smart solution, and I’d love to see that continue,” she said.
If you’re interested in Austin Rapid Test, you can book online or over the phone. You can also check prices on their website. His business has also expanded outside Texas. They offer services to Huntsville, Alabama, and in the future, they’ll be live in major cities like Milwaukee and Atlanta, including others. He’s hoping to expand more into the community including the possibility of corporate contracts to help get people working again.