CORONAVIRUS UTAH

Hospitals To Expand Testing Sites, Hours To Keep Up With Demand

Jul 2, 2020, 5:44 AM | Updated: 7:08 am

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The lines have doubled in size, and people are waiting longer periods of time at testing sites.

Intermountain Healthcare officials said they are seeing a 50% increase in those wanting to be tested for coronavirus.

“Weeks ago, we were doing 2,000 COVID swabs a day,” said Dr. Anthony Wallin, Intermountain Healthcare urgent care medical director. Now it’s 4,000.”

With cases of COVID-19 rising, University of Utah Health representatives also noted a rush to be tested.

“We have five testing sites,” said Nikki Gilmore, U of U Health senior nursing ambulatory director.

Between those five locations, Gilmore noted testing has jumped from 700 swabs a day to 1,600.

“We are looking to extend our hours,” Gilmore said. “These health care professionals take their jobs seriously. It’s summer and often hot. They are working diligently outside, dressed in PPE. Some people coming through the lines haven’t been kind. We understand there is a level of anxiety out there.”

Witnesses report seeing numerous angry people screaming at medical staff at the Redwood Road COVID-19 testing tent.

“We waited in line for over an hour, and we were still not close to the front of the line,” resident Jessica Louder said. “We ended up driving away. And I worry there are others, like us, who won’t get tested because the line is moving so slowly.”

Intermountain Healthcare officials noted the restart of surgical procedures and opening of clinics have pulled redeployed workers back to their regular positions – leaving the obstacle of staffing COVID-19 Tents.

“It’s a perfect storm,” Wallin said. “The surgical cycle is back in full swing. On top of that you have more testing for pre-op, and then a higher demand because of prevalence in the community.”

U of U Health officials noted off-peak hours seem to be from 7:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. for those looking to avoid longer lines.

“We’re also looking to add two extra lanes to all five testing sites,” Gilmore said. “If those in the community want to help slow the spread,  a holiday weekend is coming up. Please wear your masks.”

Intermountain Healthcare directors said a longer wait does not mean a lesser quality test.

“We are still providing high quality testing,” Wallin said. “With increase in demand, that may require a longer wait. But it’s worth it. You know you are getting a good test, a good sample, and that our lab will run the test correctly.”

Officials said a typical wait time shouldn’t exceed two hours.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Coronavirus Utah

FILE: Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 (left) and Moderna COVID-19 (right) vaccines are seen at a vaccinati...
Lauran Neergaard, AP Medical Writer

US clears updated COVID boosters for kids as young as 5

The U.S. on Wednesday authorized updated COVID-19 boosters for children as young as 5, seeking to expand protection ahead of an expected winter wave.
2 months ago
...
Alex Cabrero and Mike Anderson, KSL TV

Sandy woman shares frustration of ongoing battle with COVID-19

As life starts to return to normal from the pandemic, for millions of Americans, it still causes a daily struggle. That's the case for one Sandy woman, who shared her story Tuesday.
2 months ago
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - SEPTEMBER 09: A pharmacist prepares to administer  COVID-19 vaccine booster sho...
Jed Boal

University Health recommends getting omicron booster and flu shot now

The CDC approved the COVID-19 bivalent boosters that target the most recent omicron variants on September 1. Since then, tens of thousands of Utahns have rolled up their sleeves.
2 months ago
FILE: Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 (left) and Moderna COVID-19 (right) vaccines are seen at a vaccinati...
Jed Boal

Despite reaching 5,000 deaths, Utah’s COVID-19 numbers are down

The director of the World Health Organization said yesterday about COVID-19, “the end is in sight,” even if we are not there yet.
2 months ago
FILE: Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 (left) and Moderna COVID-19 (right) vaccines are seen at a vaccinati...
LAURA UNGAR AP Science Writer

Is COVID-19 winding down? Scientists say no

New booster shots have arrived and social distancing guidelines have eased but COVID-19 infections aren't going away anytime soon. Experts predict the scourge that's already lasted longer than the 1918 flu pandemic will linger far into the future as the virus continues to cause deaths and may well mutate or evolve into a new disease.
3 months ago
FILE: Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 (left) and Moderna COVID-19 (right) vaccines are seen at a vaccinati...
LAURAN NEERGAARD, AP Medical Writer

US clears updated COVID boosters targeting newest variants

U.S. clears updated COVID-19 boosters targeting the newest omicron strain; shots could begin within days.
3 months ago

Sponsored Articles

house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 reasons you may want to consider apartment life over owning a home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to choose what MBA program is right for you: Take this quiz before you apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Diverse Group of Energetic Professionals Team Meeting in Modern Office: Brainstorming IT Programmer...
Les Olson

Don’t let a ransomware attack get you down | Protect your workplace today with cyber insurance

Business owners and operators should be on guard to protect their workplace. Cyber insurance can protect you from online attacks.
Hand turning a thermostat knob to increase savings by decreasing energy consumption. Composite imag...
Lighting Design

5 Lighting Tips to Save Energy and Money in Your Home

Advances in lighting technology make it easier to use smart features to cut costs. Read for tips to save energy by using different lighting strategies in your home.
Portrait of smiling practitioner with multi-ethnic senior people...
Summit Vista

How retirement communities help with healthy aging

There are many benefits that retirement communities contribute to healthy aging. Learn more about how it can enhance your life, or the life of your loved ones.
Hospitals To Expand Testing Sites, Hours To Keep Up With Demand