U Of U Health, ARUP Can Test 1,500 People Daily For COVID-19
Mar 23, 2020, 7:00 PM | Updated: 8:55 pm
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Officials with University of Utah Health and ARUP Laboratories announced they can test up to 1,500 people per day for the novel coronavirus, and they hope to double that total in the upcoming weeks.
As of Monday, the Utah Department of Health reported 5,048 people have been tested for COVID-19 in the state.
“Right now we can test 1,500 patients a day,” said Dr. Kim Hanson with ARUP Laboratories. “Our goal is, over the next couple of weeks, to scale up to 3,000 tests a day.”
Five drive-thru testing locations have been set up at University Health Centers in Sugar House, South Jordan, Farmington and the Redwood location in Salt Lake City. Health officials said they’ll also have one up and running in Park City by the end of the week.
“We want to make ourselves maximally available to individuals during this time, and we’ll do everything we can to make that testing available to every individual who would like it,” said Dr. Richard Orlandi, chief medical officer with University of Utah Health.
Health officials said patients’ insurance companies will still be billed for the testing.
Once you get to a drive-thru clinic, clinicians will check vital signs, like your temperature and oxygen level. If you meet the criteria, they’ll then test you for COVID-19 right in your car.
Patients don’t have to be showing all the symptoms to be tested.
“I will say that most folks who become infected with COVID have at some time had a fever, but they don’t necessarily need to have it when they’re present at the in-car testing site,” said Hanson.
Once the test is done, health officials said they can turn results around in 48 hours.
Results for hospital or health care workers will be available in less than 24 hours. The goal is to get a better grasp on how far the virus has spread in Utah.
“Our hope is that by identifying more individuals who are infected, we can more wisely deploy our home isolation and quarantine measures,” said Orlandi.
Health officials said they hoped the drive-thru testing sites will be convenient for people, but they still recommended you call the hotline number at 801-587-0712 to get screened before you go.