COVID-19 Patient Information

Caring for you & keeping you safe. Always.

You need routine care to stay healthy. As always, UTMB is here to help. Our expert physicians and healthcare providers are ready to meet your needs. If you need a COVID-19 vaccine, booster, or test, you can conveniently schedule an appointment at a clinic near you.

Because the federal Public Health Emergency designation related to COVID-19 has expired, there may be a charge to you for these services, if your insurance does not cover it.

If you are uninsured or underinsured and need financial assistance for the COVID vaccine, please contact your local health district or learn more about a Health and Human Services program that may assist you.

Vaccine & Boosters

Schedule a COVID-19 Vaccine
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COVID-19 Testing

Because the federal Public Health Emergency designation related to COVID-19 has expired, you may be charged for this test.

Schedule a COVID-19 Tets
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Covid Symptoms: Schedule Urgent Care Visit

Resources

Explanation of the most common COVID-19 test results

Using MyChart is the best, most easily printable way to access your COVID test results; you'll get a MyChart activation code and sign-up link when you register (at your appointment) with an email address. If you prefer, COVID test results can also be sent to you via a text message; please provide a valid cell phone number. Or, call (832) 632-6731 to get a copy sent to you.

COVID-19 Patient Care Info

  • Negative Antibody screen results (.negativeantibodycovid)

    Interpretation/Recommendations

    Your antibody test result was negative. Antibodies against the virus are a marker of a previous infection. A negative result means you do not have antibodies from an infection with the virus that causes COVID 19, but this does not rule out a currently active infection. It typically takes between 1 to 3 weeks after infection to develop antibodies. You could still get sick if you have been exposed to the virus recently. Take precautions such as wearing a mask and washing your hands frequently. If you currently have symptoms, please speak with your primary care provider or call the access center at (409) 772-2222 or toll free (800) 917-8906, as you will likely need an additional test called a viral test which uses respiratory samples from inside your nose to detect the active virus. Please note: There are currently no approved treatment recommendations for any patients that are not presenting with symptoms. Therefore, it is not recommended that you be seen by a provider unless you are displaying symptoms.

    Updated 1/29/21

  • Positive antibody screen results (.positiveantibodycovid)

    Interpretation/Recommendations

    Your antibody test result was positive. Antibodies against the virus are a marker of a previous infection. A positive result means you have antibodies from an infection with the virus that causes COVID-19 or a similar virus from the same family of virus’ called coronavirus. It is not known if having antibodies will protect you from getting infected again or how long these antibodies will provide protection against an infection. You should continue to protect yourself by wearing a mask and washing your hands frequently. If you do not have symptoms, you likely do NOT have an active infection and no further follow up is required. If you currently have symptoms, please speak with your primary care provider or call the access center at (409) 772-2222 or toll free (800) 917-8906, as you will likely need an additional test called a viral test which uses respiratory samples from inside your nose to detect the active virus. Please note: There are currently no approved treatment recommendations for any patients that are not presenting with symptoms. Therefore, it is not recommended that you be seen by a provider unless you are displaying symptoms.

    Updated 1/29/21

  • Negative molecular/nucleic acid/PCR results (.covidnegative)

    Interpretation/Recommendations

    Your COVID-19 testing results were negative. At this time, the COVID-19 virus was NOT found in your sample. Continue to protect yourself by washing your hands frequently.

    The most up to date CDC guidance about quarantine/ isolation may be found on the CDC website.

    If you have not had symptoms, you may return to work immediately UNLESS* someone in your household or close contacts has recently tested positive. If you are not fully vaccinated including your booster and have had close contact with a Positive COVID-19 patient within 5 days, as defined by the CDC, then you should quarantine at home for 5 days from LAST CONTACT, to allow for an incubation period. If you are fully vaccinated, you do not need to quarantine but should wear a mask for 10 days and get tested in 5 days.

    If you had symptoms, you may return to work or school when you are feeling better and have not had a fever for 24 hours or more without taking fever reducing medications such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen and are 5 days from your first symptoms. Wear a mask until it has been greater than 10 days from when your first symptoms appeared. If you are a UTMB or contract employee or student, please refer to the student and employee COVID website for more information.

    If you feel you are not getting better, please call the Access Center at (409) 772-2222 or toll free (800) 917-8906 to schedule a telehealth visit or face to face visit with a provider. Most acute illnesses resolve within 7 days.

    Updated 1/3/22

  • Positive molecular/nucleic acid/PCR results (.covidpositive)

    Interpretation/Recommendations

    General guidance includes release from isolation when the following conditions are met:

    • At least 24 hours have passed since recovery defined as resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and
    • Improvement in symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath); and,
    • At least 5 days have passed since symptoms first appeared or the first positive test if symptoms have not developed or worsened since testing, at which point, use date symptoms began.
    • Continue to wear a face mask until 10 days have passed since your first test or first symptoms appeared.
    • If you experience a worsening of symptoms or recover and then redevelop symptoms, please speak with a provider for further evaluation.

    Updated 1/3/22

  • Repeat Positive ( .2covidpositive)

    Interpretation/Recommendations

    Your COVID-19 sample remains positive. Please be advised that it is unclear, at this time, how long the virus remains detectable in samples. It appears it could be up to 12 weeks before a sample becomes negative. Repeat testing is no longer routinely recommended for any reason due to the prolonged detection of the virus in samples without evidence of transmission. The date of your first positive test and your current symptoms will determine when you may discontinue isolation.

    For further guidance on when you can expect to discontinue isolation and return to work, please visit the CDC website.

    General guidance includes release from isolation when the following conditions are met:

    • At least 24 hours have passed since recovery defined as resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and
    • Improvement in symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath); and,
    • At least 5 days have passed since symptoms first appeared or the first positive test if symptoms have not developed or worsened since testing, at which point, use date symptoms began.
    • Continue to wear a face mask until 10 days have passed since your first test or first symptoms appeared.
    • If you experience a worsening of symptoms or recover and then redevelop symptoms, please speak with a provider for further evaluation.

    Updated 1/3/22

Frequently Asked Questions

COVID-19 Vaccine Research

Help our scientists in their efforts to find a vaccine for COVID-19. Our Sealy Institute for Vaccine Sciences is recruiting healthy volunteers ages 18-85 for a COVID-19 vaccine study. Participants must be available for about 7 scheduled visits over 24 mos.

Interested? Call (409) 772-5278 or (832) 340-2313, or email sivsctp@utmb.edu.

get your shot

Be aware: COVID is not done with us yet

People are sick of hearing about COVID. So are we! But the truth is, the virus is not sick of us, and it’s not going anywhere. There has been nearly a 30 percent increase in COVID hospitalizations among elderly adults in the past two weeks. You should be aware of new information.

More than 90 percent of adults have antibodies from a previous infection, vaccination, or from both. It is little wonder that the virus continues to change in order to evade our immune systems. These changes have left the current monoclonal antibody therapies ineffective against the current Omicron subvariants. The monoclonal therapies are no longer available as the FDA has rescinded their approval.

This is where vaccines can come to the rescue. Although antibodies are the first line of defense, there is another critical arm of the immune system. This second line of defense is made of T-cells that are produced following natural infection or vaccination. These T-cells protect against severe illness by killing the virus and virus-infected cells. Importantly, the T-cells respond to different sites on the covid virus than the antibodies do. The beauty of this is that the T-cells can still get rid of the virus when antibody levels have either fallen to low levels or when the changes in the virus make it so the antibodies no longer bind it.

New data shows that the Omicron booster provides additional protection. The protective effect is greatest in those who receive their Omicron booster dose more than eight months after their last vaccine compared to someone who had their previous shot three or four months prior. Additionally, like many vaccines, there is greater protection in younger adults than in older adults. For adults younger than 50, the infection risk was decreased by nearly half with the Omicron booster. For adults 65 and older, effectiveness at preventing infection ranged from 28 to 43 percent, depending on Omicron booster spacing. Remember, the goal of vaccination is to prevent severe disease. Protection against all infections is the icing on the cake, but sadly, it lasts only a few months following vaccination. There is every reason to believe that the Omicron boosters will provide extended protection against severe illness.

Federal funding covering pandemic vaccination, testing and treatments will stop in 2023. It is a good idea to get your Omicron booster while it is still covered if you have yet to receive it. People at high risk for severe COVID should have an action plan, including where to get tested and treated. Although monoclonal antibodies are no longer an option, oral Paxlovid and intravenous Remdesivir are effective treatment options. COVID-19 treatment should be started as quickly as possible and not be delayed to see if the person develops severe symptoms. Paxlovid should begin within five days of symptom onset and Remdesivir within seven.

Hopefully, this holiday season includes happy gatherings with loved ones. You are protecting others by protecting yourself, and an excellent place to start is with vaccination.

Megan Berman
Richard Rupp
Vaccine Smarts is written by Sealy Institute for Vaccine Sciences faculty members Drs. Megan Berman, an associate professor of internal medicine, and Richard Rupp, a professor of pediatrics at the University of Texas Medical Branch. For questions about vaccines, email vaccine.smarts@utmb.edu.