How long does it take to get COVID-19 test results back?

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SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – Thousands of Utahns are being tested for COVID-19 daily, and public health officials say the time it takes to get your test results may vary.

More than 940,000 Utahns have been tested for COVID-19, according to the Utah Department of Health.

And with a recent spike in positive test results, state epidemiologist Dr. Angela Dunn said testing sites are seeing more people being tested – compared to recent months.

“You know, we’re up to nine, 10,000 people being tested every single day,” Dunn said. “10,000 people getting tested in a day is a significant jump from the four and 5,000 we were seeing.”

With an increased demand for testing, Dunn said there’s a lack of consistency as to how long it takes for you to get your test results back.

“I have heard anecdotes from a variety of people everywhere ranging from, it only took 24-hours to get my test results to it took a week,” Dunn said. “On average, as a state though, we’re just over two days for a turnaround time.”

Public health officials said during Tuesday press conference that efforts are being made to lessen the turnaround time.

“We’re working together with our hospital systems and the Utah public health laboratories to overcome these obstacles, so testing is no longer a restraint in this response,” said Rich Saunders, the health department’s interim director.

“We are working toward figuring out what those barriers are to getting a quicker turnaround time,” Dunn said.

If a person tests negative for the virus, the health department’s website reports it may take longer to be notified – as people who test positive are contacted first.

If you’re awaiting test results, Dunn said it’s important to stay home and away from other people.

“So that is a big reason why we also need to get our turnaround times faster so that people aren’t waiting in limbo,” Dunn said.

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