Mobile COVID-19 Testing Sites Roll Out In Utah County
PROVO, Utah – The Utah Department of Health and Intermountain Healthcare have teamed up to take COVID-19 testing on the road, setting up mobile sites in Utah County.
UDOH identified several zip codes within the Orem and Provo areas as COVID hotspots – a place where they have seen a spike in sickness.
Health officials said they hope they can find some answers now that they’ve mobilized to the center of it all.
When you think of date night, the parking lot of a hospital doesn’t really seem all that desirable. But newlyweds Preston Jenson and Kathyrn Jackson were taking it all in stride.
“It’s really weird,” said Kathyrn. “It’s just really bizarre.”
However, since everyone has been unable to go out to restaurants or the movies, they didn’t really seem to mind.
“It’s weird to be out with people again, and in a place where everyone is being tested,” Kathryn said. “It’s kind of otherworldly almost.”
On Friday, it was a necessity for them.
“My wife has been experiencing symptoms earlier this week, and we decided it would be a good idea to get tested,” Preston said.
The couple lives in one of the area codes identified as a COVID-19 hot spot.
“We’re coming down to do mass testing, so to speak, to see what’s happening in this community,” said Teri Adams with Intermountain Healthcare. “We want to get them the care they need.”
The test team said they will take health insurance if a person has the virus. Otherwise, the test is free.
The team was in Orem doing the same thing earlier in the week.
“We were proud of the community for their turnout and coming to keep each other safe,” Adams said.
Intermountain Healthcare called the turnout fantastic.
They said they hoped to swab at least 1,000 people – with symptoms or without – on Friday.
“Please come if you’re asymptomatic and live in the zip codes 84606, 84601 or 84057,” Adams said. “We want everyone in those zip codes to come get tested.”
As for the couple, they were in and out in about 30 minutes.
“It was kind of weird,” Kathryn said. “I’ve never been tested for something like this before, so it’s definitely a new experience.”
They said they hope the next time they get out, it will be a little more normal.
“It was really weird,” Preston said. “I don’t think I want to do it again.”
The testing stopped for the day at about 6 p.m.
Test results are expected to be back in the next 36 to 48 hours.
Intermountain said it’s very possible that more mobile sites will be made available along the Wasatch Front if the Health Department identifies more hot spots.
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How Do I Prevent It?
The CDC has some simple recommendations, most of which are the same for preventing other respiratory illnesses or the flu:
- Avoid close contact with people who may be sick
- Avoid touching your face
- Stay home when you are sick
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and then throw the tissue in the trash
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. Always wash your hands with soap and water if your hands are visibly dirty.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
How To Get Help
If you’re worried you may have COVID-19, you can contact the Utah Coronavirus Information Line at 1-800-456-7707 to speak to trained healthcare professionals. You can also use telehealth services through your healthcare providers.
If you see evidence of PRICE GOUGING, the Utah Attorney General’s Office wants you to report it. Common items in question include toilet paper, water, hand sanitizer, certain household cleaners, and even cold medicine and baby formula. Authorities are asking anyone who sees price gouging to report it to the Utah Division of Consumer Protection at 801-530-6601 or 800-721-7233. The division can also be reached by email at email@example.com.
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