Demand for COVID-19 testing increases over holiday break

Dec 27, 2021, 1:35 PM | Updated: 9:29 pm

SALT LAKE CITY—Health officials “adjusted operations” at testing sites Monday, “in anticipation of continued high demand” after long waits and long lines at testing locations on Sunday.

Testing sites were closed Christmas day and the Utah Department of Health said that led to increased demand at some sites on Sunday.

In a statement, the department said, “visitors to the testing site at the Cannon Health Building experienced particularly long waits, and for that we apologize. Other sites reported wait times of just 15 minutes or less.”

Monday morning saw shorter lines but a steady stream of cars going through the Cannon building testing site.

Fahina Tavake-Pasi was happy to hear about the increase in demand for testing, saying, “I think just to be safe and to help things to decrease I think it’s our duty and obligation to do what we can.”

Some getting tested came with symptoms. Others were checking themselves before or after travel. And some like Tavake-Pasi wanted the reassurance that they are safe as they get together with family over the holiday break.

“Basically I have 17 grandkids and I wanted to make sure that I was okay,” she said.

“And so I think it’s important to keep yourself updated, where you’re at with this COVID consistently going around. So I just wanted to be safe for the rest of the family.”

Health officials said Monday they’ve “adjusted operations in anticipation of continued high demand, especially at the Cannon Building.”

“This location offers testing for travelers, and we suggest if you do not need a rapid test for travel-related purposes you should visit one of our other testing sites. You can find a full list of sites and hours at coronavirus.utah.gov.”

Test Utah testing sites offer both rapid and PCR tests. You can choose which one to take but a department spokesperson said you do have a greater chance of a false result with a rapid test, especially without symptoms or at the start of your symptoms when you have less of the virus in you.

If you have symptoms, they suggest getting a PCR test which could take two to three days to get results.

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Demand for COVID-19 testing increases over holiday break