COVID-19 (coronavirus) Information
The Central Health Enterprise (Central Health, CommUnityCare Health Centers, Sendero Health Plans) is closely following the developing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak in our region and will post news and information most pertinent to our patients, clients, partners, and staff on this page.
Local Response Information
Austin Public Health is our local public health authority and is leading efforts to research, gather, and disseminate information to the community. For the latest news and information, please visit the APH website.
CommUnityCare Testing Data
CommUnityCare, Central Health’s affiliated Federally Qualified Health Centers, is publishing testing data that includes positivity rates and geographical analysis. The dashboard is interactive and offers multiple ways to view the data.
Learn more about vaccinations, symptoms, how to avoid the infection, what to do if your uninsured, how to schedule testing or appointments, and discover community resources and more information.
Learn more about COA resources, social media toolkits, media contact information, and health insurance.
Discover media information and read press releases.
Is the COVID-19 vaccine safe?
- The U.S. vaccine safety system ensures that all vaccines are as safe as possible. All approved COVID-19 vaccines went through extensive testing and clinical trials before they were approved for distribution.
Can the COVID-19 vaccine give you COVID-19?
- The vaccine does not include the live virus that causes COVID-19. Sometimes the vaccine can cause mild symptoms like pain where you get the shot, fever, chills, headaches or make you feel tired. These symptoms are normal and are a sign that your body is building immunity.
If I already had COVID-19 do I still need a vaccine?
- Everyone needs the vaccine – even if you’ve had COVID-19. The best way to stop the pandemic is to take every precaution including getting a vaccine, wearing a mask, washing your hands often, and keeping at least six feet apart from others. When it’s your turn, get the vaccine.
How does the vaccine work?
- A vaccine prepares your immune system so your body will be ready to fight the virus in case you are exposed. Depending on the vaccine you receive, a second dose is required in 2 – 3 weeks. You will receive a reminder to schedule a second vaccine the same way you received your confirmation about the first dose.
Will there be enough vaccines for everyone?
- Vaccine supplies are limited. Be patient. There aren’t enough vaccines for everyone right now, but more vaccines are coming. Based on guidelines from the State of Texas, frontline health care workers and residents of long-term care facilities are getting the vaccine first. The next group to get vaccinated are people 65 and older and people 16 and over with medical conditions that can put them at risk of complications from COVID-19. This includes pregnant women. All adults should be able to get vaccinated later in 2021.
After I get vaccine, do I still have to wear a mask?
- Even when you get the vaccine, keep wearing a mask. Once you get the vaccine, keep wearing a mask, washing your hands, and watching your distance. The vaccine can keep you from getting sick, but you could still get infected with coronavirus. And if you’re infected, you can spread COVID-19 to others.
I’m a CommUnityCare patient. Can I get a vaccine?
- CommUnityCare is following State and Federal vaccine guidelines to vaccinate people. Based on these guidelines, established CommUnityCare patients will be notified when it is their turn to get the vaccine.
How can vulnerable populations get the vaccine?
- Austin Public Health is currently focusing on vaccinating vulnerable communities. To find out if you are eligible for a vaccine and pre-register, visit AustinTexas.gov/covid19-vaccines. Completing pre-registration does not guarantee that you will receive the vaccine or be guaranteed a scheduled appointment. If you can get a vaccine through your doctor or another provider, please do so.
Personal Protective Equipment Distribution
Austin Public Health, CommUnityCare, and Central Health are hosting a series of free personal protective equipment (PPE) distributions over the next several weeks in areas with high COVID-19 positivity rates based on testing data. The distributions will provide hand sanitizer, masks, and educational materials.
CommUnityCare patients can request PPE at the following sites:
Prenatal Care Sites
- Central Health is working closely with CommUnityCare to ensure continuity of care, including prioritizing how we pay contractors for services.
- Our medical management team, which cares for people with chronic conditions who are transitioning out of the hospital, should see little to no disruption in care at this time. We have plans in place to ensure smooth care transitions in the event we are asked to socially isolate.
- Our health care coverage eligibility and enrollment department will prioritize new enrollments, especially those who need testing or care related to COVID-19 in the event we are on essential business functions only.
- We have posted signage at all of our facilities that is in alignment with CDC, DSHS, and APH recommendations.
- We are handling each public meeting or event on a case-by-case basis following the City mandates, target audience, and community feedback.
- We are disseminating information provided by CDC, DSHS and CUC on social media.
- We are sharing information with our stakeholders, including elected officials, Community Health Champions, and our Community Advisory Committees.