‘About 3 hours’: Utahns growing impatient waiting in long COVID testing lines

Local News

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — The record-breaking COVID numbers are also causing record-breaking test numbers in the state.

Almost 60,000 people have been tested since Friday.

The challenge with that is waiting in extremely long lines.

ABC4 went through the testing site at the Cannon Health Building and it took about one and a half hours, meanwhile, the Maverik Center testing site was a different story.

People told us they had been waiting for three to four hours to get their test.

“It has been about 25 minutes,” said Renate Podegracz.

“It has been about an hour,” said Thomas Frost.

“It took about 45 minutes,” said Brooke McMaster.

All three of them, Podegracz, Frost and McMaster were getting tested at the Cannon Health Building.

They have had to practice patience.

“It’s worth it to wait,” said McMaster. “These poor workers are overworked probably and are feeling stressed and people might not be very nice, so chill out. They are doing the best they can so be patient.”

This is as COVID-19 cases have skyrocketed throughout the state because of the extremely contagious Omicron variant.

Some testing sites have become appointment only like at the Cannon Health Building.

The Maverik Center is still first-come, first-serve.

“I think with the onset of more people wanting to be tested, they just can’t keep up with it,” said Podegracz. “It’s unfortunate and very frustrating.”

According to the data from the Utah Department of Health, TestUtah tested 100,000 Utahns last week and continues to test more than 15,000 a day.

The process used to be efficient but because of staffing shortages, a tremendous rise in cases, and a need to be tested, things have dramatically slowed down.

Many people ABC4 spoke to Monday said they ran out of tests over the weekend so they got back in line.

The 7-day average for COVID cases is right below 7,700 cases and now every one in five tests is coming back positive.

Make sure to make an appointment or carve out some serious time in your day to get tested. 

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