SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – As the Omicron variant surge continues in Utah, the state is reporting a record number of hospitalized patients with COVID-19.
And, after state leaders encouraged people to stay home earlier this month instead of get testing, it’s likely that our state’s case counts are being underreported.
“We’re definitely still seeing a huge number of cases,” said Dr. Leisha Nolen, Utah’s state epidemiologist.
“It was important to de-stress the testing areas,” added Nolen.
But the demand for testing didn’t go away.
“We’re actually seeing people who are willing to pay for an emergency department visit just to get a COVID test, even though they don’t have a lot of symptoms or severe disease,” said Dr. Wing Province, medical director at Intermountain Park City Hospital.
So when will Utah’s capacity for testing improve?
“We are getting additional resources in,” said Nolen.
“In the coming days, we’re hoping to switch over our approach,” added Nolen.
She says the last few weeks have been challenging across the country because the actual tests are in short supply and orders always seemed to get backlogged.
“Luckily, those are starting to come through now. And we’re hoping in the next week or two we’ll be able to say once again ‘okay, if you need to get tested, if you feel like you’re at risk, please come get tested.'”
“But, for now, we’re still being a little strict about who should get tested,” Nolen added.