COVID-19 Testing in El Paso & Surrounding Areas
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) currently has this guidance listed on their website as to who should seek testing for COVID-19.
People who have symptoms of COVID-19
People who have had close contact (within six feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes) with someone with confirmed COVID-19
People who have been asked or referred to get testing by their healthcare provider, or local or state health department
The Texas Department of State Health Services recommends that people consider the following when looking for a public or drive-thru testing site:
Do I know the screening criteria for the public/drive-thru testing site?
Do I know the operating hours for the public/drive-thru testing site?
Do I know if I need a referral from my doctor before I visit the public/drive-thru testing site?
Do I know if the public/drive-thru testing site is covered by my insurance provider and/or how the billing process works?
Do I know what type of test is offered at the public/drive-thru testing site?
Do I know how to get my testing results?
Call ahead or visit the testing site website for information, as screening criteria and operating hours may change.
The City of El Paso is making it easier for residents to report their COVID-19 positive test results to assist contact tracers and begin the task of monitoring and supporting confirmed positive individuals.
An Electronic Self-Reporting Form is now available on EPStrong.org under the ‘Testing’ tab in addition to the current self-reporting COVID-19 Positive Assistance Line (Co-PAL) at (915) 212-6520.
These two self-reporting options are available for individuals who test positive for COVID-19 and have received their positive results from their laboratory but have not been contacted by the Department of Public Health (DPH) within 24 hours of receipt of their results from their lab. By self-reporting and providing confirmation of their positive test results, DPH will be able to assign a contact tracer to assist them.
The Electronic Self-Reporting Form only requires basic information such as name, address, and date of birth. Electronic Self-Reporting Forms will be received and managed by Public Health staff on the same day of submission.
Individuals self-reporting by phone or online will need to provide a copy of their positive test results so they may be assigned a contact tracer.
For more information on self-reporting or any other questions, please contact the 21-COVID Hotline at (915) 212-6843.
Preventing the Spread
Washing your hands is one of the best ways to protect yourself and your family from getting sick.
To prevent the spread of germs during the COVID-19 pandemic, you should wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol to clean your hands.
Have you pre-registered to get the COVID-19 vaccine? Eligible residents who qualify under Phase 1A or 1B can reserve their spot now by pre-registering online at EPStrong.org or by calling (915) 21-COVID.
If you’ve pre-registered, please note the COVID-19 vaccine is in limited supply so it may take several weeks to get an appointment.
Staff from the Department of Public Health will contact you via phone or email once more doses become available and it’s your turn to get vaccinated.
*Resources listed below are dependent on availability and subject to change.
AmistadCARES Utility Assistance Program
In partnership with the City of El Paso, Project Amistad is offering utility assistance to residents who have past due utility bills and are currently struggling to pay these bills.
Residents can receive help with a one-time full payment on past due electric, water, and gas bills from April 1, 2020, through December 15, 2020.
Crisis Counseling Program
The Crisis Counseling Program (CPC) is a valuable community resource for those affected by a disaster such as the COVID-19 pandemic. CCP services, through the Texans Recovering Together initiative, include free supportive crisis counseling provided by mental health professionals through the state of Texas.
In El Paso, these calls are handled by trained CCP counselors at Emergence Health Network.
Help is available to anyone who has experienced any of the following:
Loss of sleep or appetitive
Lack of security
Fears about the future
Sense of loss or control and ability to protect yourself and your family
Over time, stress can take its toll and develop into more negative reactions. Don’t wait, call
(915) 779-1800 to get help today.
COVID-19 Mental Health Support Line
Texas Health and Human Services have launched a 24/7 statewide mental health support line to help Texans experiencing anxiety, stress, or emotional challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
This new resource offers COVID-19-related mental health support for all Texans. People can call the Statewide COVID-19 Mental Health Support Line 24 hours a day, 7 days a week toll-free at 833-986-1919.
Crisis Text Line
Text HOME to 741741 from anywhere in the United States, anytime. A live, trained Crisis Counselor receives the text and responds, all from our secure online platform. The volunteer Crisis Counselor will help you move from a hot moment to a cool moment.
Free 24/7 support at your fingertips
US and Canada: text 741741
UK: text 85258 | Ireland: text 50808
UTEP Student Resources
Counseling and Psychological Services
The Division of Student Affairs at the University of Texas at El Paso has put together a list of mental health and other resources for students to access throughout the COVID-19 emergency.
Click the link below for more information:
UTEP Food Pantry
The Food Pantry is open Monday-Friday 10 am-3 pm and is accessible by students, staff, and faculty with your UTEP ID.
Foster Homeless and Adopted Resources (FHAR) Program
Services provided through the FHAR program include academic advising and mentoring, on and off-campus advocacy, social service referrals for low-cost housing, food insecurities, mental health needs, and financial aid assistance. The FHAR program provides students with school supplies, necessary personal hygiene items, household items, bus passes, and textbooks from our small library student donated books.
For more information visit, https://www.utep.edu/advising/students_we_serve/fhar.html.
Food banks, soup kitchens, and free food pantries
For a full list of food banks, soup kitchens, and free food pantries in the El Paso County, Texas area visit,