Austin residents who have been participating in protests and other gatherings, or have been unable to socially distance during the pandemic, will be allowed to sign up for a free COVID-19 test starting Friday at the city's drive-thru testing site, according to a notice by Austin Public Health.


People will not have to show symptoms for the test to be performed—a departure from the city's previous guidelines.

The new rule comes at the end of a week of protests that have seen hundreds of people crowded in downtown Austin—some with face coverings, some without—to demonstrate against the police killings of Michael Ramos of Austin and former Houston resident George Floyd in Minneapolis.

As of Thursday, nearly 14,600 people have been assessed for testing through the testing enrollment form since it was launched in early April. Some 8,500 individuals have been scheduled for and/or completed a test.

Sign up with the Public Enrollment Testing Form here.

(Pexels)

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Sponsored by Tito's Handmade Vodka

Tito's Handmade Vodka will provide 21,000 bottles of hand sanitizer to Austinites (Austonians?) for free on July 2 via contactless pickup.

Tito's For Austin

"Due to the recent spike in cases of COVID-19 in Texas, we wanted to make our hand sanitizer more widely available to the local community," said Taylor Berry, VP of Brand Marketing at Tito's Handmade Vodka. "We're starting in our hometown of Austin, with plans to expand to additional Texas cities in need."

  • Where: Krieg Softball Complex parking lot, 222 S. Pleasant Valley Road.
  • When: Thursday, July 2, 12-6 p.m. or while supplies last.
  • Details: All passengers must wear masks; limit three bottles per car.
  • More: Tito's For Austin



Since beginning production in late March, Tito's has donated hand sanitizer to critical frontline workers at over 500 organizations in Central Texas, and to 25 states and counting across the United States. Due to the recent spike in COVID-19 cases in Austin, Tito's Handmade Vodka is shifting its hand sanitizer distribution strategy to make it available to the public for free.

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Heading into the Fourth of July weekend, Austin health officials begged residents to stay away from each other to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

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