MURRAY, Utah (ABC4 News) – Utah’s public health labs are playing a vital role in COVID-19 testing and in working to help slow the spread of the virus.

“One of the most important parts of any type of lab response is trying to identify those who are infected with the virus so that our public health officials can do effective case identification and contact tracing with efforts to mitigate transmission in the community,” said Bert Lopansri, the Associate Medical Director for Infectious Diseases at Intermountain Medical Center.

To meet testing needs and make sure the lab had enough materials, Tara Hall, the Molecular Pathology Supervisor, says Intermountain revamped its lab, which allowed them to go from doing a couple hundred COVID-19 tests a day, to now testing between two and three-thousand a day.

“We’re able to get really close to a 24-hour turnaround time from the time the sample comes to my lab.”

Intermountain says they are meeting the needs of patients who need diagnostic testing by; making testing more available to people wherever they live, partnering with the public health department on testing criteria, and making sure testing sites are adequately staffed to meet the needs of patients.