U of U Health moves COVID-19 testing to appointment only


SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – For the first time since the pandemic, nearly 10,250 people were tested for COVID-19 within 24 hours.

Another record shattered was the 1,411 positive cases from yesterday.

“We do think however that a large component is also the increased demand in testing as people are more concerned, and frankly more are getting symptoms,” said Dr. Richard Orlandi with the University of Utah Health.

The amount of people getting tested is causing some strain on healthcare systems.

U of U Health announced it will be moving from the drive-up COVID-19 testing platform to an appointment-only procedure beginning Monday, September 28th.

Administrative Director of Community Clinics Micheal Bronson tells us, “What appointments do is allow us to schedule these same number of patients per hour, but you don’t have to secure your place in line by getting in line hours ahead of time. You can secure your place in line by getting an appointment.”

U of U Health saw patients waiting in lines for three or more hours to get tested for COVID-19. ABC4 News went to the Redwood Health Center on Friday where our cameras captured vehicles spilling out onto the roads.

Redwood Health Center COVID-19 Testing 9.25.20

The issues surrounding getting testing created some contention.

“That frustration rolls over to the staff, to be honest, and we feel for someone who has been sitting in their car idling for hours. When it was hot it was especially difficult but then when they get to the tent itself and they interact with staff it’s heartbreaking to say I am so sorry but you don’t qualify for testing,” said UofU Health Nursing Supervisor Natalie Cuthbert. “Moving to appointments, it’s a godsend, it really is a great thing for us to looking forward too.”

More than 193,000 Utahns were tested for COVID-19 since the pandemic started at U of U Health. Each day, doctors say they test 1,500-1,700 people for the coronavirus.

Recently, U of U Health began offering COVID-19 saliva tests.

Bronson tells us when a vehicle reaches a team it takes on average three minutes to process a test. The actual COVID-19 test takes about a minute.

Redwood Health Center COVID-19 Testing 9.25.20

If you’re experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 like a dry cough, fever, or loss of taste, please contact your doctor about getting tested for COVID-19.

To get a test through U of U Health you’ll need to apply online because it will be offering COVID-19 testing by appointment only from 8a-4p Monday through Friday.

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