Utah health officials bring in mobile COVID testing sites to help meet demand

Local News

UTAH (ABC4) – The pandemic isn’t over yet, and one of the biggest clues that it’s still here might just be COVID-19 testing sites. While mass testing sites have slowly disappeared, the Utah Department of Health is bringing mobile testing sites to people across the state.

“The demand for testing is actually pretty consistent,” Trent Brown told ABC4 Tuesday morning. Brown is the COVID mobile testing team deputy for the Utah Health Department. He is often on scene at one of the state’s many testing sites.

Just a few months ago, large COVID-19 testing sites that could process thousands of people each day were the norm. However, that’s not the case anymore. The new norm consists of small teams working out of vans in different locations across Utah.

“Most of our sites will typically do anywhere from 15 to 50 collections a day,” explained Brown. “It just depends on what’s happening.”

That might not sound like a lot, but with dozens of sites across the state, the department reports thousands of tests weekly.

These new testing sites aren’t done on a whim. Weeks of planning goes into choosing locations.

“A big part of what we do is look at percent positive in a given area,” stated Brown. “We also look at surveillance, our hotspot teams, we meet with them weekly to figure out where to go.”

Brown told ABC4 communities along the Wasatch Front tend to have the greatest need for tests. However, he also explained that hotspots are popping up in rural communities across the state. He said this is expected with the new variants and summer activities.

He added, “As we go out into the community, as we go into restaurants, as we go to summer camps and sporting events, the chance of bumping into someone who has, that is still relatively high.”

The Utah Health Department’s website shows the demand for testing has steadily dropped since January. Nonetheless, it is higher now than it was at the same time last year.

With small hotspots popping up across the state, Brown encouraged Utahns, vaccinated or not, to continue getting tested. He said, “It’s great just to have these tests around and say, ‘Yeah, we can go back to normal, we can do normal things and we can do that safely.’”

To view an interactive map of current testing locations in Utah, click here.

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