Long-term coronavirus testing facility opens in one of Austin’s hardest-hit areas

COVID-19 testing site graphic
CommUnityCare Health Centers, a health care provider funded by taxpayer-backed Central Health, announced Sept. 3 it opened a long-term coronavirus testing site in Southeast Austin. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)

CommUnityCare Health Centers, a health care provider funded by taxpayer-backed Central Health, announced Sept. 3 it opened a long-term coronavirus testing site in Southeast Austin. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)

As many as 200 people per day can be tested for the coronavirus at a new drive-up facility in southeast Austin—one of the city’s hot spots for the potentially fatal virus.

CommUnityCare Health Centers, a health care provider funded by taxpayer-backed Central Health, announced Sept. 3 it opened the testing site at 7019 Burleson Road, Austin.

According to a news release from the health care network, the new testing site is located in an open warehouse space that allows for patients to drive up and get tested for the coronavirus in their vehicles.

The warehouse space will allow for the testing facility to remain open throughout the fall and winter, as testing will be conducted inside the warehouse space and protected from inclement weather, according to CommUnityCare.

“The virus isn’t going anywhere any time soon. Our team is conducting long-range planning and thinking about how this site can best serve the community as the situation evolves,” CommUnity Care Chief Operating Officer Yvonne Camarena said.


Camarena added the site will potentially transition to an immunization site in the future once coronavirus vaccinations become available.

CommUnityCare’s new testing site is situated in southeast Austin’s 78744 ZIP code. According to data from Austin Public Health, that ZIP code contains the highest number of confirmed coronavirus cases across all of Travis County as of Sept. 1.

The 78744 ZIP code is the only area across the city with more than 2,000 confirmed coronavirus cases and has nearly 100 more cases than the next highest ZIP code—78660 in Pflugerville.

“We picked this site because we can serve uninsured residents in communities where we’ve seen high COVID-19 positivity rates, like Del Valle, Montopolis and Dove Springs. We want to make COVID-19 testing more sustainable and increase testing capacity, and the Burleson Road location does both,” said Mike Geeslin, president and CEO of Central Health, in the Sept. 3 news release.

CommUnityCare has conducted more than 26,000 tests for the coronavirus since it began opening testing sites to the public in April, according to the health care provider.
By Iain Oldman
Iain Oldman joined Community Impact Newspaper in 2017 after spending two years in Pittsburgh, Pa., where he covered Pittsburgh City Council. His byline has appeared in PublicSource, WESA-FM and Scranton-Times Tribune. Iain worked as the reporter for Community Impact Newspaper's flagship Round Rock/Pflugerville/Hutto edition and is now working as the editor for the Northwest Austin edition.


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